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Number 20 $3.00 

U.S. Invades Grenada-Nicaragua Next? 



The catastrophic events in Grenada have shocked the 
world, proving further that this administration is capable of 
almost anything. At a time when both Central America and 
the Middle East are on the brink of massive conflagrations, 
and when the horrors of nuclear war are uppermost in our 
minds, such knee-jerk, ideological aggressiveness is terrifying. 
We stare in disbelief as eminent scientists debate whether the 
nuclear devastation will mean the end of the human race or 
merely throw us back to the Stone Age. 

We are convinced that the single, most frightening threat to 
humanity is the present U.S. government. All our efforts to 
expose its lies and deceptions must be redoubled. 

Grenada and Nicaragua 

The delay in producing and presenting this issue was due to 
our efforts to analyze as thoroughly as possible the campaign 
of destabilization and warmongering which led to the crushing 
of the Grenadian Revolution. We have also summarized the 
events of the past few months in Nicaragua, events which have 
convinced most observers that a wider war in Central America 
is imminent. For those whose greatest concern is nuclear 
confrontation— and who among us does not fear that? — it is 
crucial to be aware that such a confrontation will likely grow 

out of conventional war. The first step is stopping regional 
conflicts. Whether greater knowledge of the machina- 
tions of the Pentagon, the CIA, and their surrogates will help, 
remains to be seen. We believe our role is to provide as much 
information as we can. 

Our Fifth Anniversary 

While the discouraging world scene acts as a slight restraint 
on our otherwise boundless enthusiasm, we are nevertheless 
proud that we have survived five years of publishing 
Covert Act ion Information Bulletin despite the U.S. govern- 
ment s attempts to suppress our research and information 
through the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. We have 
entered our sixth year meeting, we think, our goal of steadily 
improving the Bulletin. We have not been immune— like the 
CIA— to the economic constrictions of the current recession. 
As we struggle to keep our small office and tiny staff going, we 
learn that the CIA received $75.5 million in the recent 
Intelligence Authorization Act for a new building at its 
Headquarters— this separate and apart from a secret budget 
for its heinous activities. Such impressive growth is of course 
due to expanded CIA covert actions around the globe, about 
which we will continue to keep you informed. • 

Table of Contents 

Editorial 2 

U.S. Crushes Grenada 3 

Cuban Statements 21 

Nicaragua Braces for War 25 

Desert Technology 31 

Israeli Arms in Central America 34 
Pak in the Saddle Again 38 
Flight 007 Aptly Named 40 
Sources and Methods: CIA 

Assassinations — Part IV 44 

Cover: Maurice Bishop and Fidel Castro at Santiago, Cuba, July 26. 1983. Photo by Prensa Latina. 

Cover/Action Information Bulletin. Number 20. Winter 1984, published by Covert Action Publications. Inc.. a District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation. 
P O. Box 50272. Washington. DC 20004; telephone (202) 265-3904. All rights reserved: copyright ® 1983 by Covert Action Information Publications. Inc. 
Typography by Art for People. Washington. DC; printing by Faculty Press, Brooklyn, NY. Washington staff: Ellen Ray. William Schaap. l.ouis Wolf 
Board of Advisers: Philip Agee, Ken Lawrence. Clarence Lusane. Elsie Wilcott, Jim Wilcott. Indexed in the Alternative Press Index. ISSN 0275-309X. 

2 Covert Action 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Grenada — No Bishop, No Revo: 

U.S. Crushes Caribbean Jewel 

By Ellen Ray and Bill Schaap 

In retrospect the tragic and horrifying events in Grenada 
were almost predictable. They will one day provide yet 
another historical perspective of the devastating outcome 
when an imperialist intelligence system penetrates an 
internally divided, fledgling socialist government, unable to 
defend itself, and brings down upon it the might of a massive 
military machine. 

In the case of Chile, the country's military was used by 
U.S. intelligence before and during the overthrow of 
Salvador Allende, and enjoys its backing to this day. In 
Grenada such backing may have been the expectation of at 
least some of the members of the Revolutionary Military 
Council which plotted the coup against Maurice Bishop, 
leading to his brutal death. Those collaborators, however, 
were used and doublecrossed by the Reagan administration. 

In both Chile and Grenada, the leadership of the regimes 
which were toppled did not have enough trust in the people 
to arm them, a fatal mistake. (In Grenada, the People's 
Militia, established under Bishop, had been dismantled by 
his opponents while he was off the island on a trip shortly 
before the coup.) 

Where Is the CIA? 

The most curious aspect of the coverage of the coup 
against Bishop and the subsequent U.S. invasion— Operation 
Urgent Fury — is the near absence in the press of any mention 
of the CIA or speculation about a CIA hand in the events. 
One would think William Casey was not present at George 
Bush's National Security Council meetings deciding to 
divert the fleet after the death of Bishop, advancing the 
incursion plans at a frenzied pace after the Beirut bombing 
plotting each step of the invasion. One would think there 
were no CI A agents on Grenada after four and a half years of 
urgent and persistent endeavors to place them there. One 
would think there were no intelligence officers on the island, 
directing the Marines and Rangers, or aboard the U.S.S. 
Guam directing part of the invasion operation itself. 

And yet we know that from the moment of the March 1 3, 
1979 revolution in Grenada the CIA has relentlessly used 
every trick in its dirty bag to destroy that tiny island's 
government and to eliminate that great threat to the U .S.— a 

charismatic black leader, loved by his own people and 
respected by all who knew him. 

Indeed, in looking for comparisons to the murder of 
Bishop and his supporters and the destruction of the New 
Jewel Movement and the Grenadian Revolution, one thinks 
not so much of Chile as the liquidation of the Black Panther 
Party and its leaders during the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
This was accomplished not simply from internal political or 
personal disputes, but by a scientifically executed operation 
known as COINTELPRO, through the combined efforts of 
the FBI, military intelligence, local police forces, and in 
some instances, the CIA itself. Ironically it was the Black 
Power movement in the United States which had been an 
inspiration for most of the leaders of the New Jewel 
Movement, when they were university students, labor 
leaders, and political activists. 

It is hard, and it is painful, to try to understand how 
sophisticated, politically conscious people who aspire to 
revolutionary leadership fall prey time and again to the 
machinations of those bent on their destruction. It is not as if 
there had been no warning. It is now clear that for more than 
two years the U.S. government had been moving inexorably 
toward the military overthrow of the People's Revolutionary 
Government of Grenada. Early on. President Reagan's 
advisers recognized that a simple continuation of the Carter 
administration's destabilization campaign would not suffice. 

The Carter Destabilization Campaign 

Within days of the overthrow of the autocratic Eric M. 
Gairy, the New Jewel Movement government was bluntly 
told by the U.S. not to establish diplomatic relations with 
Cuba, to stay out of the socialist camp or else. At the same 
time, the paltry sum of $5,000 was offered to counter the open 
threat of invasion by Gairy, who was recruiting mercenaries 
in the Cuban exile community in Miami. Bishop not only 
rebuffed the insulting proposals of Frank Ortiz, the U.S. 
Ambassador based in Barbados, but he described his 
discussions in detail in a radio broadcast to the Grenadian 
people. Less than two months later Grenada was subjected 
to the opening salvo in what was to be an unending U.S. 
campaign of economic, psychological, and openly violent 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 3 

destabilization. Two fires, both of suspicious origin, broke 
out simultaneously in the heart of the tourist area, a direct 
attack on Grenada's economy. (See CAIB Number 5.) 

Bishop again went to the people in a broadcast which 
explained the events, in language poignantly prophetic: 

Sisters and brothers of Free Grenada: . . . Destabiliza- 
tion is the name given the most recently developed or 
newest method of controlling and exploiting the lives 
and resources of a country and its people by a bigger 
and more powerful country through bullying, intimida- 
tion, and violence. In the old days such countries- the 
colonialist and imperialist powers — sent in gunboats 
or marines directly to take over the country by sheer 
force. Later on mercenaries were often used in place of 
soldiers, navy and marines. Today more and more the 
new weapon and the new menace is destabilization. . . . 
Destabilization takes many forms; there is propaganda 
destabilization, when the foreign media, and some- 
times our own Caribbean press, prints lies and 
distortions against us; there is economic destabiliza- 
tion, when our trade and our industries are sabotaged 
and disrupted; and there is violent destabilization, 
criminal acts of death and destruction, such as we have 
witnessed on Sunday night with the fires. All of these 
vicious tactics have been used before, in the recent past 
in countries close to us, and in countries far away. As 
we the people of Grenada show the world, clearly and 
unflinchingly, that we intend to remain free and 
independent, that we intend to consolidate and 
strengthen the principles and goals of our Revolution, 
as we show this to the world, there will be attacks 
upon us. 

In late 1979 an actual coup attempt was nipped in the bud 
when mercenaries' boats were sighted and prevented from 
landing the same day that an unsuccessful, AlFLD-inspired 
power plant strike was intended to paralyze the island and 
leave the entire country that night in darkness. Sophisticated 
explosives theretofore unknown on Grenada and collections 
of rifles were discovered in the possession of members of a 
small gang which had been operating on the island. In raids 
on their homes, notes were found denouncingthe Revolution 
and extolling the benefits of NATO membership- hardly a 
concern of most Grenadians or anyone else in the Caribbean. 

In June 1980 a bomb was planted under the grandstand at 
Queens Park just before a rally at which Bishop and the rest 
of the NJM leadership were to appear. During the rally the 
powerful bomb went off below the gathered officials, but 
due to inaccurate placement its force was directed downward 
toward a group of spectators under the grandstand, rather 
than upward toward its intended targets. Three young girls 
were killed and scores were injured. In a subsequent 
shootout with the remnants of the gang mentioned above, 
several of its members were killed. A recent item in the 
Periscope column of Newsweek magazine (November 7, 
1983) may well relate to that gang. Intended to support the 
CIA's incredible claim that it had no agents on Grenada, the 
item said: 

... a number of knowledgeable sources point to the 
reduction in Caribbean intelligence operations made 
during the Carter administration. Those cuts left the 
United States with no agents based in Grenada. After 
the Marxist coup in 1979, the Central Intelligence 
Agency tried to remedy that situation. Several 
operatives died trying to infiltrate the island. 

Of course, under Gairy there was little reason to have 
agents on Grenada other than the run-of-the-mill AIFLD 
hacks. But all of the incidents noted above occurred after the 
revolution and during the Carter administration; they do not 
suggest an unwillingness to act forcefully against Grenada. 
Moreover, the only known deaths during the period in 
question, other than the victims of the Queens Park 
bombing, were gang members. 

Two victims of CIA/counterrevoluntionary bombing. The human 
reality of U.S. destabilization against Grenada. 

Just before these attacks, a new U.S. ambassador replaced 
the crude Ortiz in Barbados— a replacement he had told the 
NJM would be "the velvet glove" in the Caribbean. Sally 
Shelton, an ambitious former secretary to the reactionary 
Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen (see CAIB Number 10), 
deported herself no better, however. After two trips there she 
refused to visit further. She sent in her place a seemingly 
unprepossessing political officer, Ashley Wills, whom 
Bishop soon suspected of involvement in CIA activities on 
the island. At a government reception Wills smugly 
announced to a CA IB editor that the U.S. did not need the 
CIA in the Eastern Caribbean because the local people told 
them everything they wanted to know. As noted below. Wills 
later turned up on the U.S.S. Guam assisting the invasion 
force with his extensive knowledge of the island and its 
people having visited often under both Carter and Reagan. 
No modest bureaucrat, Wills, who had been assigned 

4 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

previously to South Africa and Romania, took credit during 
Shelton's tenure for establishing the Voice of America on 
Antigua, handling the "political" duties for the area, and 
writing Shelton's speeches. It would be interesting to know 
the extent of his more recent involvement with Shelton when 
she, Peter Bourne, and Robert Pastor were advising Hudson 
Austin's RMC government after the death of Bishop. It 
would be extremely interesting to know what interrogation 
or debriefing duties he might have had on board the Guam 

Sally Shelton: Business as usual at Barbados Embassy. 

with the captured RMC leader Austin, his deputy Liam 
James, or with Bernard Coard, his wife Phyllis Coard, or his 
deputy Selwyn Strachan. 

In any event, the suggestion that there were no CIA 
officers or agents on Grenada at the time of the coup and 
invasion is preposterous. It is also apparently contradicted 
by the New York Times and Newsweek, among others. 
New sweeps reporter described an "older" medical school 
student, a former U.S. consul in Laos and State Department 
dropout, communicating by shortwave radio with the U.S. 
invaders (quoted in detail below). And the New York Times 
(October 28, 1983) ran a small but startling item noting that 
William Casey was to meet with members of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee to discuss CIA involvement in 
Grenada. While no committee member would talk about the 
subject on the record, an unnamed Senator "said he had 
received information that CIA agents were among the 
passengers on a planeload of 70 American medical students 
flown out of Grenada Wednesday." During the secret 
congressional briefings. Pentagon officials informed 
Members of Congress that they had known of the impending 
coup against Bishop two weeks in advance. 

With this background, it is helpful to review the 
developments during the Reagan administration. 

The Changing Plan of Reagan 

At the end of his term, in a futile bid for reelection, 
President Carter created the Caribbean Rapid Deployment 
Force, which staged exercises at Guantanamo Naval Base on 
Cuba — military posturing which Bishop denounced at the 
United Nations as a return to gunboat diplomacy and a 
revival of the Monroe Doctrine. The American people did 
not forgive the Tehran hostage rescue debacle, however, and 
the next month Carter lost the election. Shortly thereafter, 
when Reagan took over, he embarked on a game plan which 
would lead to the actual use of those forces. 

Promising to shore up the CI A and to stop the"Marxists" 
in Grenada from threatening their democratic "neighbors" 
Trinidad and Tobago (a single country, a fact of which 
Reagan was apparently not aware), Reagan nevertheless 
kept his campaign promises. Shortly after he took office, he 
sent Jeane Kirkpatrick to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and 
Uruguay to urge the fascist countries of the Southern Cone 
to develop a joint security treaty. This persistent preoccu- 
pation of the administration with organizing unity among 
right-wing countries eventually culminated in the formation 
of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) 
and the revival of the Central American Defense Council 

Some of the steps leading up to the military invasion of 
Grenada were: 

• On April 27, 198 1 an odd and rather motley collection 
of ten Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis were arrested in New 
Orleans just as they were about to depart with a plan to 
invade Dominica. They were quietly rushed to trial and 
convicted. (See CAIB Numbers 13 and 16.) Some of the 
testimony revealed that their original intention was to 
invade Grenada but that the goal was too difficult a military 
undertaking. A recent interview in the Jackson, Mississippi 
Clarion- Ledger (October 30, 1983) with one of the 
participants, George Malvaney, is instructive. "I wonder 
how the government can get away with doing the same thing 
I spent 1 8 months in jail for?" he mused. "I really thought it 
would help this country to overthrow that government, 
which was kind of Marxist oriented, and replace it with a 
government more friendly to ours." Apparently whoever 
promised George $3,000 for the action never told him that 
Dominica already had a government favorable to the U.S. in 
the person of Prime Minister Eugenia Charles, who 
appeared with President Reagan when he announced the 
Grenada invasion on television, shortly after it had begun. 
Charles's manipulation and use by the President was so 
blatant that she was described on the floor of Congress by 
Rep. Gus Savage (Dem. -111.) as "this puppet of our President 
[who] represents 'Aunt Jemimaism' in geopolitics." 

Eugenia Charles's Freedom Party had been elected in 
Dominica with considerable support from the U.S. Embassy 
in Barbados (see CAIB Number 10). After the arrest of the 
would-be invaders, she clamored for a regional security 
treaty to protect against mercenaries, and at her urging the 
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States was inaugurated 
on June 18, 1981. As we later discover, the only reason for 
this organization seems to have been to provide an entity to 
be told by the U.S. to ask for a U.S. invasion. 

• A number of leaks to journalists in 1983 confirmed that 
in the summer of 1 98 1 , CI A Director Casey had proposed a 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 5 

covert action plan against both Grenada and Suriname (see 
sidebar) which was, in the words of one Senator, so "off the 
wall" that it was dropped. According to the Washington 
Post (February 27, 1983), it was members of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee who objected so strenuously. 
However, it was clear from the leaks and the context and 
timing in which they arose that the plan for Grenada was 
never dropped, but was just sent back to the drawing board. 
In fact, the recent leaks were probably designed to test the 
waters. The covert action plan which was postponed was 
apparently connected with the next step of the overall plan- 
military maneuvers which were capable of becoming an 
actual invasion. 

• Over a six-week period in the fall of 198 1 , according to 
Grenadian security forces, there were seven incidents of 
sabotage, suspected to have been of CI A origin, which could 
have been connected to an invasion plan. 

• In October 1981 a massive U.S. naval exercise. Ocean 
Venture '81, was conducted in the Caribbean, including a 
mock invasion of "Amber and the Amberdines, ,, an open 
reference to Grenada and the Grenadines. The Amber 
operation involved a rescue of Americans being held 
hostage by the Amber government, and its mission was "to 

install a regime favorable to the way of life we espouse/ 1 
according to Pentagon literature. Grenada denounced the 
naval maneuvers, suggesting that a real invasion was 
imminent. The parallels to what happened two years later 
are inescapable. Pentagon rumors at the outset of the 
October 1983 invasion— which later found their way into 
print, keeping everyone on edge— even stated that General 
Austin was holding hostages (two "non- American" women). 
And although the medical school students were neither 
hostages nor in danger. President Reagan, with inexorable 
logic, noted that they might have been. 

• In order to make the invasion of Grenada a "sure 
thing," Reagan visited Barbados Prime Minister Tom 
Adams in April 1982 to discuss the "spread of the virus of 
communism" from Grenada. According to Karen DeYoung 
of the Washington Post (October 26, 1983), Adams said at 
the time he did not feel that either Grenada or Cuba posed a 
military threat to his island. Not so with another participant 
at the meeting, Jamaica Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who 
owed his own election victory over Michael Manley to 
considerable U.S. intelligence collaboration. Shortly there- 
after Seaga was awarded a medal by Reagan at the White 
House In November that year Seaga led an unsuccessful 

Pressure in Paramaribo 

"U.S. diplomats in the capital of Paramaribo made 
sure to keep Bouterse current on evidence that Cuba had 
aided the Grenadian coup, and the rest was left to his 
well-prepped paranoia."— Newsw eek, November 7, 1983. 

The fact is that for more than two years the U.S. had 
been working to force Suriname's military government, 
headed by Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse, to bow to American 
demands that they distance themselves from Cuba. 
Although two CIA paramilitary plans to overthrow his 
regime, in 1981 and 1982, were shelved because of 
congressional opposition, they were replaced by a 
campaign of massive economic and political pressure. 
The campaign went into high gear in May of this year. 

Relations between Bouterse and western governments 
were at a low in December 1982 after the killing of 14 
opposition leaders in Suriname. The Netherlands quickly 
suspended its massive aid program (of more than $100 
million per year, with ten years to run). Then Brazil, with 
U.S. backing, began to make overtures to Bouterse and, 
ultimately, to provide, with conditions, some desperately 
needed economic and military assistance. Pressure was 
put on the regime to reduce its relations with Cuba and 
Grenada, and, contrary to the subsequent media disin- 
formation and despite the suspicious timing, agreement 
to curtail drastically relations with Cuba had been 
reached before the arrest and murder of Maurice Bishop. 

In late September an advance team went from 
Suriname to the U.S. to prepare for Bouterse's October 
address to the U.N. The level of U.S. influence was 

revealed when Suriname quietly acceded to American 
insistence that left-leaning Foreign Minister Harvey 
Naarendorp not be a member of the delegation. Prime 
Minister Errol Alibux handled most of the negotiations, 
meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for Latin 
America, Langhorne A. Motley. 

At the U.N., Alibux was invited to attend a reception 
by President Reagan and was greeted by Secretary of 
State Shultz. The contrast with Bishop's frustrating U.S. 
visit a few months earlier could not have been more 
evident. Moreover, it was clear from Bouterse's later 
speech at the U.N. that he had already recognized the 
stark necessity of toeing the U.S. line. His call for the 
removal of foreign troops from Kampuchea and 
Afghanistan (but not from El Salvador or Honduras) was 
hardly independent thinking. 

When Bouterse expelled virtually all Cubans the very 
day the Rangers landed in Grenada, U.S. officials and 
Latin American allies were elated. "All of a sudden," one 
Surinamese diplomat told a reporter, "the Americans at 
the U nited Nations are smiling at us and patting us on the 
backs." Elliott Abrams, Reagan's human rights expert, 
pointed to Surname as an example of the effectiveness of 
the administration's policies in that area. But Bouterse is 
above all a pragmatist who has fended off numerous coup 
attempts in nearly four years in power, caretully 
balancing his political alliances. Yielding, for the time 
being, to overwhelming pressure does not mean embrac- 
ing the imperialist banner, and it must be hoped that time 
and historical imperatives will bring Suriname back into 
the progressive camp. * 

6 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

attack against Grenada at the meeting of the Caribbean 
Community (Caricom), by which the U.S. had hoped to 
embarrass the Bishop government. 

• By the spring of 1 983 the invasion plan was in high gear. 
In March Reagan fulminated over the Cuban help for 
the international airport construction in a TV address to the 
nation, replete with sinister satellite photographs. As Gre- 
nada's U.N. Ambassador Caldwell Taylor pointed out at the 
time, spy photographs were hardly necessary, as picnickers 
and joggers from the medical school, as well as the general 
public, had open access to the airport site. Although no one 
knowledgeable on the subject ever bought the President's 
argument that the airport was "too big" for mere tourism, or 
that it was a secret military installation, the media continued 
to play up the charge, and the American public was taken in 
with the big lie that tiny Grenada was a threat to U.S. 
security. At the same time, authoritative military journals 
were decrying the threat to the chokepoints of U.S. oil 
tanker lanes, another myth, since Grenada had no navy. 
President Reagan, during this TV address, had the audacity 
to joke, "What is at stake in Grenada is not nutmeg. It is U.S. 
national security." (See CAIB Number 19.) 

• In April, after the President's dog and pony show, the 
leaders of Barbados apparently were still not convinced of 
the necessity of a military solution. Though Barbados had 
obvious enmity for the Bishop government. Foreign Minis- 
ter Louis Tull told Edward Cody of the Washington Post 
(April 24, 1983), in a remarkable interview, "We cannot 
resolve it with the more extreme position that the United 
States might be disposed to take. 1 don't expect the govern- 
ment of Grenada to back off. They've gone too far. You have 
to live with them." Still, Tull spoke highly of the Regional 
Defense System agreement (from which Grenada was ex- 
cluded) to share intelligence and promote military coopera- 
tion. He contrasted this development with the failure of the 
U.S. to provide any aid under the Caribbean Basin Initia- 
tive. "I would say that all the countries of the Eastern Carib- 
bean are very concerned about security matters, more con- 
cerned than they have been in a number of years," he con- 
fided. But they were still more interested in the fact that 
Grenada had received over $23 million in foreign aid in 
1982 — from Cuba, East Germany, the Soviet Union, the 
EEC, and Canada. "It does create a feeling of disillusionment 

among the micro Caribbean states when they find they are 
getting relatively— I want to be fair — relatively less aid than 
Cuba or Grenada," he concluded. 

• Shortly thereafter the Barbados Defense Forces, 
according to a Caribbean Contact expose by editor Ricky 
Singh, began to receive training in the United States under 
the direction of the CIA. 

• Then, a few months before Bishop's assassination and 
the invasion, U.S. diplomats traveled to Jamaica and 
Barbados to finalize military intervention plans. According 
to unnamed high government officials of those two 
countries, "unidentified U.S. officials had been seeking for 
several months to . . . isolate Grenada, and had urged the 
regional governments to consider military action against 
Grenada." (Washington Post, October 28, 1983.) And. as 
noted more fully below, two weeks before the house arrest of 
Bishop, U.S. Army Rangers in Seattle were practicing 
parachute landings and the takeover of an airfield. In a 
moment of weakness Tom Adams almost gave the plan 
away when he tried to convince Grenadian Foreign Minister 
Unison Whiteman not to return to Grenada while Bishop was 
under house arrest. Later Adams claimed that the U.S. had 
approached him with a vague plan to rescue Bishop. 

Several observations stem from this review of events 
preceding the invasion. First of all, it is abundantly clear 
that there were U.S. intelligence agents active on Grenada; a 
military operation of that size would never have been 
undertaken otherwise. This was clear from the October 28 
New York Times story about the CIA agents brought out in 
the airlift of the medical students. Newsweek (November 7, 
1983) confirmed the presence of at least one of them in its 
carefully worded report: 

MYSTERY MAN: At the Grand Anse campus an 
older student named Jim Pfister assured everyone that 
help was on the way. Pfister was a thin man with a 
moustache, probably in his late 30s, and even his fellow 
students found him unusual. He claimed to be a West 
Point graduate and former Foreign Service officer, a 
U.S. consul in Laos during the Vietnam War, who had 
quit the State Department to go to medical school. 
Once the invasion started, he was in constant 
shortwave radio contact with the advancing troops 
and seemed to know their moves in advance. Before 
they arrived, he instructed the other students to 
prepare for evacuation by putting on long pants and 
running shoes. 

Indeed it appears likely that there were one or more 
"moles"high in the New Jewel Movement itself. This should 
not be either shocking or improbable. The CI A and military 
intelligence had four and a half years to accomplish this task, 
and there is hardly a country in the world where there are no 
mercenary collaborators to be found. The temptations of 
an unlimited expense account are great. But, as has 
happened before, the collaborators in Grenada were 
doublecrossed. Moreover, there were more than 1,000 
Americans on the island — students, teachers, businessmen, 
retirees, and a constant influx of tourists. 

The Medical School 

The St. George's Medical School, established in Grenada 
in 1977 by Charles Modica, the son of a conservative Long 
Island Republican, formed immediate and close ties with the 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 7 

government of Eric Gairy. The vice-chancellor of the school. 
Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, prides himself today for having been 
an "adviser" to all the governments of Grenada, including 
that of the short-lived Revolutionary Military Council of 
General Austin. 

In fact, members of the New Jewel Movement, particularly 
Maurice Bishop, were suspicious of the school from its 
inception. Long portrayed by the American and European 
press as a harmless despot interested only in Hying saucers, 
Gairy was in reality a vicious dictator who was the only 
Caribbean leader to maintain diplomatic relations with 
Pinochet's Chile, and who sent a dozen or more members of 
his notorious security forces there for training. When they 
returned to Grenada, "disappearances" became frequent, 
the best known case involving a police chief who was friendly 
totheNJM. And, Bishop told CAIBona visit to the U.S. in 
1978, accompanying the newly trained security forces on their 
return from Chile were coffins which were unloaded and 
shipped to the medical school. Bishop said that his 
movement believed the coffins contained the cadavers of 
"disappeared" people from Chile, and that Gairy was 
planning a body trade-off with the fascist Junta. He did not 
get the chance, however, because a few months later, on 
March 13, 1979, the criminal Gairy dictatorship was 

Over the next four years there occurred a series of 
suspicious incidents involving the medical school, but the 
Bishop government, unwisely as it turned out, opted to allow 
the school to remain. This was partly because of the revenue 
it represented to Grenada (20% of its foreign exchange, 
according to Peter Bourne, son of the school's vice- 
chancellor) and partly because the new government thought 
it would be relatively easy to keep an eye on the overwhelm- 
ingly white, middle-class students and faculty. (See sidebar.) 
This was perhaps a fatal mistake of the Bishop government; 
the school's presence gave perfect cover to intelligence 
officers who had ample time to recruit their local 

A stunning admission regarding the school's connection 
with the Reagan administration appeared as a throwaway 
line in a long Washington Post analysis on November 23, 
1983. When Bishop met with then National Security Adviser 
William Clark on June 7, 1983, he was informed, according 
to the Post's sources, that if he did not tone down his 
anti-American rhetoric, Grenada could lose the school— 
and its foreign exchange. "Consideration was being given to 
providing surplus U.S. property on Antigua as another site." 
So much for the private nature of the institution. And four 
months later, of course, the school became the excuse for the 
U.S. invasion. 

The Fires 

On May 6, 1979, less than two months after the revolution 
in Grenada and just a few weeks after Bishop's confrontation 
over Cuba with the U.S. Ambassador, two fires were set 
within an hour of one another. The first burned down a 
tourist cottage across from the medical school's Grand Anse 
beach campus. When neighbors rushed to get the school's 
fire-fighting wagon, they discovered it had been sabotaged. 
By the time St. George's only fire truck had driven from the 
center of town to the cottage, it was completely destroyed. 
And while the truck was at Grand Anse, a building just two 
blocks from the fire station downtown began to burn. It 
housed the leading travel agency and tour operation. When 

the firefighters got back to town, extensive damage had 
already been done— tickets and tour arrangements for the 
coming year had been burned. Nearby kerosene cans con- 
firmed a case of arson. 

At Grand Anse later that evening security personnel 
arrested a young, drug-addicted medical school student who 
had lived in the burned cottage. Upon questioning, he 
admitted he had set the fire, but first insisted the "devil" 
made him do it. Later he admitted that it was two men from 
New Jersey, possibly Cuban exiles. 

Carter Administration Ties 

The school itself has always had interesting ties to U.S. 
politics, both Democrat and Republican. One of its 
founders, vice-chancellor Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, is the father 


That the American people were the target of their 
government's disinformation and media manipulation 
is clear. This included the medical school students as 
well as the general public. The media attention devoted 
to those who were airlifted home, however, obscured 
the fact that the ground kissers had been bullied into 
their action. First they were terrorized by the U.S. war 
which raged around their dormitories and then they 
were browbeaten by the intelligence agents who 
accompanied them in their exodus from Grenada. 

In fact, most of the students had insisted from the 
beginning that they did not consider themselves in any 
danger before the U.S. invasion; only afterwards, 
when the Marines combined the evacuation of the 
students with attacks on the Cuban construction 
workers nearby, did the students feel threatened, and 
with good reason. As Mike Royko noted in the 
Chicago Sun- Times, "It's kind of like a fireman setting 
fire to a building, then shouting to the occupant: 'Don't 
worry, I'll save you.' " 

Still the U.S. had fertile soil in which to plant its 
propaganda. While there are stories of a few students 
who worked tirelessly to help the victims of the 
invasion, not many supported the Grenadian people or 
their government, and some resorted to crude, racist 
epithets: "Half the med students didn't like the 
Grenadians. Students called them FIGs, 'fucking 
ignorant Grenadians,' " one student's friend told the 
Village Voice. This was an ironic comment, coming 
from a student body made up of people unable to get 
into American medical schools. Perhaps the most 
revealing comment was made by one student, Linda 
Simms of Takoma Park, Maryland: "I wasn't afraid 
for my life so much as I feared for my lifestyle." 

Senator D'Amato didn't let their lifestyle suffer, 
however. As a reward for their maleability he arranged 
for them to continue their studies in several Long 
Island schools which had not accepted them aca- 
demically in the first place. • 

8 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 198 

of Dr. Peter G. Bourne, who was a special White House 
adviser on drug abuse during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter 
administrations, until he was forced to resign in 1979 in a 
drug scandal, accused of writing Quaalude prescriptions for 
staffers and their friends. In 1978, Peter Bourne had been 
implicated by political activists in New York in the 
mysterious death of a progressive doctor working for a 
Lincoln Hospital drug detoxification program which was 
opposed to the methadone maintenance programs of Nelson 
Rockefeller. Bourne was the last person known to have seen 
the doctor alive, but as far as is known his involvement was 
never investigated. 

In 1977, C4/Z? staff members saw documentary proof that 
Peter Bourne provided debriefing reports to the CIA after 
taking trips abroad, including to Southeast Asia and 
Pakistan. The details of this story later appeared in the 
Chicago Sun-Times (July 23, 1978). 

The Strategy Paper 

The Bournes were deeply involved with the short-lived 
Austin regime, and after the U.S. invasion, Peter Bourne 
rushed to tell their side of the story. In a long piece in the 
November 6 Los Angeles Times and in interviews on 
National Public Radio, Bourne claimed he was against 
the invasion. He also insisted that a U.S. intelligence 
team on Grenada could have obtained the same information 
he did, by playing softball with the Cuban construction 
workers and by having dinner with the Cuban Ambassador 
and his American-born wife, information which, according 
to Bourne, included "the numbers of Cuban military and 
civilian personnel, the extent to which Grenada was being 
armed, and Cuba's intentions on the island." This sort of 
information was just the kind Bourne had in the past 
transmitted to the CIA after his travels. (Bourne never notes 
that an invasion might have endangered the school's multi- 
million dollar investment on Grenada.) 

While Bishop was under house arrest, Bourne claimed, his 
father. Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, began to meet with Bernard 
Coard, who guaranteed the safety of the students. Even after 
Bishop's death, for which the Bournes evidently shed no 
tears. Bourne senior continued to meet with Coard, 
arranging for government vehicles so the students could 
travel freely from campus to campus. Then, curiously, the 
elder Dr. Bourne began to meet with Gen. Austin on 
government policy matters and told his son that Austin was 
not so bad, that he did not seem "particularly sympathetic to 
the Marxist cause, "and, in an interesting choice of words, he 
seemed to be "on the right," wanting to "move the country 
back toward democracy." 

Of Bishop, the kindest words Peter Bourne could conjure 
up were that "his early Marxist-tinged rhetoric reflected as 
much his inexperience as his ideological commitment." 

Meanwhile, the State Department and the U.S. Ambas- 
sador to Barbados, Milan Bish, began to pressure both 
Charles Modica, who was in New York on a visit, and a 
"distinguished and conservative" trustee of the medical 
school, to claim publicly that students in Grenada were in 
danger, in order to give the administration a pretext to 
invade. Peter Bourne counseled both men that the school 
might be liable for any injuries suffered by the students if 
they complied. Still, the "distinguished and conservative" 
trustee, who can only be New York Senator Alfonse 
D'Amato, later an apologist for the invasion, muttered that 

he would like to "kick out the commies" anyway. (D'Amato, 
it will be recalled, spearheaded the disinformation campaign 
against Cuba, falsely accusing its government of drug 
trafficking. See CAIB Number 19.) 

According to Bourne, his father then interceded with 
Austin to allow U.S. representatives onto the island to meet 
with the students. This is corroborated by medical students 
and an American observer invited on campus for the U.S. 
Embassy briefing. According to the November 1 1 Militant, 
Akinyele, an American living in Grenada and working for 
Radio Free Grenada until he was evacuated with the 
students, explained that the two U.S. representatives sought 
to calm the fears of the students. One derided a rumor that 
parents of the students in New York were trying to organize 
charter flights to rescue their children. He also assured the 
students that Gen. Austin had said they could leave any time 
they wanted and that the airport would be open the 
following day. This accords with Bourne's account that the 
U.S. government was actually meeting with Austin. But, 
although the airport was open the next day, U.S. officials in 
Barbados would not allow scheduled commercial planes to 
fly to Grenada, having already made final plans for 
the invasion. 

Despite such assurances on Sunday, the previous Friday, 
according to Newsday (October 26, 1983), "U.S. intelligence 
was providing information about the landing sites, the 
location of coral reefs, and the basing of Grenada's security 
forces. The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence, heading 
toward Lebanon, was told to swing by Grenada." 

On Monday, Peter Bourne said, his father contacted him a 
last time, asking him to help provide Austin with some 
guidance to move his country "back toward democracy." 
The younger Bourne spent the day with former Carter 
National Security Council member Robert Pastor and with 
help from Carter's former Ambassador to the Eastern 
Caribbean, Sally Shelton, they drafted a position paper for 
Austin — suggesting how he could distance himself from the 
Bishop government and pander to U.S. demands. Apparently 
having been assured by the Reagan administration that an 
invasion was not imminent, Bourne had a summary of the 
paper read to his father by phone, intending to have the full 
text telexed the next day. This never happened, as by dawn 
the next morning the invasion was under way. 

In the various subsequent accounts of the writing of the 
strategy paper for General Austin, the participants minimize, 
or fail to mention, their own roles, rushing to cover their 
tracks. Robert Pastor, in a Washington Post piece the day 
after the invasion, neglected to mention his connection with 
the RMC government. And in a puff piece interview with 
Sally Shelton in the New York Times society section 
(November 3, 1983), she too fails to take credit where credit 
is due. She is far more disingenuous than Pastor, who did 
criticize the invasion. "Large quantities of arms and caches of 
documents in Grenada," she said, "have just about 
convinced me that the invasion was justified." [Emphasis 
added.] She will testify to that effect, she confided to the 
interviewer, to the House Subcommittee on Western 
Hemisphere Affairs. 

Perhaps an impending government job will convince the 
ambitious Ambassador completely. Currently, she is 
Caribbean director of International Business-Government 
Counsellors, Inc., a risk assessment service for which former 
CIA Director William Colby is senior adviser. 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 9 

An outrageous "expose" of the whole affair was presented 
by a White House aide, writing under the pseudonym Val 
Victorson. in Reverend Moon's Washington Times 
(November 10, 1983). Taking both Pastor and Bourne to 
task for advising Austin— a doublecross if ever there was 
one— the White House aide failed to mention Shelton's 
collaboration on the strategy paper. 

Finally there is the matter of Charles M odica's conversion. 
Only after the students had returned to a maudlin, media- 
hyped reception did he "realize" that Reagan's invasion— 
which he had been criticizing constantly — was justified. "I 
found out that the people I had been dealing with were not 
fully in charge of that government," he said on emerging 
from a'special State Department briefing. 

The "Internal" Struggles 

Who u as "fully in charge" of the government of Grenada 
at the time of the coup and the invasion? Certainly not, as 
U.S. officials and much of the media would have it, Bernard 
Coard or even Hudson Austin. It was, as one State 
Department spokesman claimed, "a floating crap game," 
but one in which the U.S. was doing the rolling. 

We may never know exactly what happened the day 
Bishop was killed, or who gave what orders. We may never 
know who were the moles on the Central Committee 
(though it will be interesting to see who fades from sight 

Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and Army Commander Hudson 
Austin during celebration of second anniversary of revolution. 

during the show trials sure to come). But progressive people 
must examine and openly criticize the horrendous errors 
which were made by the opponents of Maurice Bishop, to 
learn from those fatal mistakes. What happened in Grenada 
has affected the entire socialist world. 

That there was such a deep split within the leadership of 
the New Jewel Movement— and clearly there was— was not 
as well known to insiders, friends of Grenada and even some 
of its ambassadors, as it was to the recipients of intelligence 
"leaks." For example, a front-page story by Barbara 
Crossette in the August 7, 1983 Sunday New York Times 
sought to play on the racist fears of establishment conserv- 
atives as well as anti-communist liberals, while pointing out. 
for the first time, rumors of a split. It warned that Bishop 
"spoke about ... the need to reject the system of government 
inherited from the British and to build a new society on 
Grenada." Bishop, she pointed out, "is not alone in the 
Caribbean in seeking to reject Western European political 
and economic models. . . . Intellectuals in many Caribbean 
islands— raised in an age of civil rights and black power and 
educated at some of Europe's and North America's best 
universities— are speaking and writing on this theme. " The 
article encourages near hysteria on the part of the 
establishment: "John Compton, who pushed back a strong 
challenge from the left to become Prime Minister of St. 
Lucia, said that he believed the democratic governments of 
the region, with the help of North America and Western 
Europe, had only three or four years to prove themselves 

But Crossette had some hope for the establishment too: 
"Public support for the Government of Prime Minister 
Maurice Bishop," she said, "is diminishing rapidly as Cuban 
and Soviet influence here grows, according to many 
Grenadians." Finally she noted, "Mr. Coard, Deputy Prime 
Minister, and Mrs. Coard, head of the National Women's 
Organization, are considered by many Grenadians to be 
among the most radical members of the Government, and 
there are rumors of a rift between the Coards and 
Mr. Bishop." 

She was totally wrong in her account of Bishop's lack of 
popularity, and as for the Coards being "more Marxist, a 
favorite media refrain, there is no evidence of this. On the 
contrary, events have proved that Bishop was far more in 
touch with the people and far more interested in their 
welfare. The grafitti on a truck, shown in many U.S. 
newspapers after the invasion, told it all: "No Bishop, No 
Work, No Revo." 

A most fundamental mistake was made when Coard and 
his followers ordered Bishop placed under house arrest. If 
they did not at the time see the enormity of the act, the 
dissident Central Committee members should have under- 
stood the meaning of the tremendous crowd which freed 

Events leading up to the liberation of Bishop from house 
arrest bear close scrutiny. It was clear to Coard and his 
followers that the populace did not support them, so they 
were striving, even at that late date, for a compromise with 
Bishop. He had said that he would decide by 10 o'clock that 
night whether to accept their demands. However, curiously, 
shortly before 8 p.m. a huge, well organized crowd 
approached Bishop's house, with many participants who 
were not known Bishop supporters, inlcuding counter- 
revolutionary elements and contingents with anti-communist 
banners and slogans. This crowd materialized even though 

10 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

some of Bishop's main supporters were already in jail for 
organizing other demonstrations in his support, and his 
followers were generally in disarray. 

Bishop partisans, such as Einstein Louison, even refused 
to participate in the march when they saw the nature of the 
crowd. Well known businessmen were leading it, men who 
never had supported Bishop, as well as a truckload of 
demonstrators from the Coca-Cola company. Bishop 
allowed himself to be freed by this crowd because, he said, he 
felt he could control them, and he decided to make a critical 
speech at the market square where there were no soldiers. 
Some of his followers took Bishop in a car, but, because he 
was so weak from the days of house arrest they decided to go 
first to the hospital. However, apparently the car never 
reached the hospital, but turned up the road to Fort Rupert. 
Subsequent reports which gave the impression that Fort 
Rupert was a well armed fortification are in error. It was 
essentially an administrative post, with no more than 20 
rifles in the entire installation, a fact well known on the 

At the fort, Bishop, Jacqueline Creft, and a few others 
went into a small building, the "situation room." According 
to a friend of Creffs, who arrived at the fort accompanied by 
Creft's parents, bringing food for the group, they knew 
nothing about what was happening outside the fort until the 
fighting began. According to witnesses, the first indication 
Bishop and the others had of armed conflict was when three 
explosions were heard, sounding like grenades or small 
bombs. They cracked the walls and ceiling of the situation 
room and the people inside fell to the floor. 

Outside, three armored personnel carriers had arrived. 
They had been sent to Fort Rupert by the members of the 
Central Committee who had rushed to Fort Frederick, the 
real army arsenal, after Bishop had been freed. As the 
massive crowd gathered outside Fort Rupert the soldiers, 
apparently panicked by the explosions, opened fire on them, 
killing and wounding large numbers. Although the demon- 
strators were apparently unarmed, three soldiers who had 
been sent to Fort Rupert from Fort Frederick were killed, 
suggesting the presence of provocateurs. 

There are a number of unanswered questions. Why was a 
rally set for 8 o'clock when there was a deadline for a 
decision on compromise of 10 o'clock? Who organized this 
rally, planned so well, and in advance? Why did the car go to 
Fort Rupert, which was an indefensible position? The rally 
set for the market square might have been peaceful; Bishop 
had told the people freeing him that he did not want anyone 
hurt. A key statement to the population might have set the 
stage for some sort of return to normalcy. But the rally never 
took place. Instead, troops were sent to confront the crowd 
and something provoked them, leading to a massacre 
followed by assassinations. 

The executions of Bishop, Jacqueline Creft, Unison 
Whiteman, Vincent Noel, Fitzroy Bain, and Noel Bain 
which followed the murderous attack on the people at Fort 
Rupert were not accidents. Though the initial firing on the 
crowd might not have been premeditated, at least 15 minutes 
elapsed from the time Bishop and his supporters surrendered 
to the Army men and the time they were assassinated. While 
this was not time enough for an RMC meeting, it was time 
enough to radio for instructions. 

There could have been communications with Coard or 
with Austin or with the intelligence officers at the medical 
school, or with anyone else for that matter. What happened 

Maurice Bishop and Deputy Bernard Coard. 

and how many people died at Fort Rupert will be the subject 
of a bitterly contested show trial to be organized by the U.S. 
against Coard, Austin, et al. "A Sandhurst graduate" who 
sources identify as the MI-6 officer on the island claimed to 
Newsday (November 13, 1983) that he watched the shooting 
through an 80-power telescope and, though he did not see 
the aftermath, estimated that at least 50 people died. He will 
undoubtedly be called as a witness. Verdicts reached in the 
trial will always be suspect, and the events of October 19 a 
horrible shadowy nightmare. But if the reports are true that 
Bernard Coard said when captured he was "not respons- 
ible" — this was an unconscionable attempt to avoid 

Don Rojas, Bishop's former press secretary, put it best 
(Washington Post, October 31, 1983): 

Perhaps the biggest historical irony is that the man 
considered the most developed, best ideologue in the 
Grenada revolution, a brilliant man, through a funda- 

( ^ 

State Secrets 

In late October a local Washington, DC television 
station revealed that inmates of nearby Lorton Reform- 
atory had in their possession photocopies of numerous 
highly secret State Department documents. In the 
ensuing scandal it was revealed that the documents had 
been left inadvertently in a used safe sent to the prison 
for repairs. The news coverage centered on the lax 
security measures which allowed the shipment of the 
documents, but never discussed the contents of the 
documents themselves. CAIB has learned that many of 
the documents related directly to the proposed overthrow 
of the government of Grenada, but that reporters aware 
of this were cowed into suppressing the information. • 

v. ) 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Covert Action 11 

mental error of judgment and personal ambition, in the 
end gave the Grenadian revolution on a platter to the 
U.S. with all the trimmings. 

That the Coards and their allies and the members of the 
RMC did not fight to the death against the U.S. invaders 
underscores the fact that they had no idea what they were 
doing after Bishop was dead, indeed from the time they 
placed him under house arrest. The people of Grenada were 
done a terrible disservice by these ultra-leftists; it will take 
years to revivify the Grenadian Revolution and reinstate the 
promise of Maurice Bishop, a hero and a martyr. 

Crocodile Tears Over Bishop 

The hypocrisy of the U.S. government and its official 
media after the coup against Bishop was beyond belief. 

suggesting a definite method to its madness. The day after 
Bishop was placed under house arrest, the Voice of America 
broadcast to Latin America and the Caribbean profiles of 
Bishop and Coard, portraying Bishop as a world-renowned, 
moderate, civil rights hero— the same Bishop it had 
excoriated relentlessly for four years, and picturing Coard as 
a brutal Stalinist. In fact, the VOA's report on Bishop could 
only be described as an obituary, an ominous suggestion of 
things to come. And, the reports said, there was "mounting 
evidence" that Cuba was behind the downfall of Bishop. The 
networks followed suit; both NBC and ABC referred to a 
"leftist" regime being overthrown by a "Marxist" regime, as 
Alex Cockburn noted in the November 8 Village Voice. 

Don Rojas told the Washington Post that Bishop had 
instructed him the night of his death "to tell the world that 
Cuba had nothing to do with the regime's internal dispute." 

12 Covert Action 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Curiously, while many journalists were printing the Reagan 
administration's disinformation about the "mounting 
evidence" of Cuban involvement, Cuban exiles in Miami 
were regaling the New York Times (November 4, 1983) with 
the story that Cuban Colonel Tortola had flown to Grenada 
the day before the U.S. invasion to topple Austin's 
Revolutionary Military Council. 

The references to Austin were also peculiar. Hudson 
Austin, trained by the British in Jamaica as a prison guard 
and constable, is consistently referred to by the media as a 
"Marxist,'" and as a close supporter of Bernard Coard, 
allegedly the most hard-line of all. Yet when the statements 
of the RMC are reviewed they do not appear at all hard-line. 
According to the summary of the RMC statements in the 
October 24 Washington Post, they stressed representation of 
"all social classes and interests" and emphasized economic 
development, a mixed economy, and the encouragement of 
foreign investment— rather bizarre goals, considering the 
bloodshed they had just caused. 

Moreover, CAIBhas learned that in 1981 theCIA viewed 
Maurice Bishop as an admirer of Fidel Castro who 
frequently consulted Cuba's Ambassador to Grenada on 
matters of policy. At the same time, according to the CIA, 
General Hudson Austin attempted to resign from his Army 
post in protest over Cuban influence. Two years later the 
positions are supposedly reversed, with General Austin a 
Cuban stooge overthrowing and murdering the disen- 
chanted Bishop. 

More than hypocritical was an alleged discussion between 
unnamed U.S. officials and Barbados Prime Minister Tom 
Adams of mounting a rescue operation to take Bishop out of 
Grenada. Adams is quoted in the October 28 Washington 
Post as having said, "Whatever our difference in the past, 
Mr. Bishop deserved the support of the Caribbean 
governments." Adams had only contempt for Bishop and 
was clearly perpetuating the cover for an invasion already 
in the works. 

The day after the invasion began the hypocrisy was 
pointed out by John Goshko of the Washington Post: "This 
revisionist view of Bishop as a moderate within the context 
of Grenada's internal politics appears to have provided part 
of the justification for the United States and six Caribbean 
countries to band together in the invasion against what 
Reagan yesterday called a 'brutal group of leftist thugs.'" 

Pre-Invasion Manipulations 

There were plans for a military invasion two years before 
it actually occurred, and serious moves toward it many 
weeks before Bishop's assassination. A few days before the 
invasion, administration officials admitted that the Pentagon 
had been "dusting off contingency plans." (Washington 
Post, October 23, 1983.) None of the facts, as it happens, is 
consistent with the U.S. line that an invasion was not 
seriously contemplated until the OECS requested it. 

Most telling were the Ranger exercises which came to light 
in early November. It was then reported that from 
September 23 to October 2, the 2d Battalion of the 75th 
Rangers Division, stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington — 
one of the two Ranger units which participated in the actual 
invasion — spent six days practicing taking over an airport, 
complete with parachute jumps onto runways, capturing 
airport buildings, taking captives, and liberating hostages. 
Although an Army spokesman referred to the exercises as 
occurring "regularly" at Ephrata Municipal Airport— which 

happened to have a runway the same length as the Point 
Salines runway — an airport official told reporters, "It would 
be pretty farfetched to say it's done on a regular basis. 
They've done it twice to my knowledge — in 1981 and this 
time." (Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1983.) The 
1981 exercise can only refer to the CIA plans and military 
maneuvers postponed that year by the opposition of the 
Senate Intelligence Committee. Moreover, the Pentagon 
had requested that the recent practice not be given any 

This dry run, and the discussions with various Caribbean 
officials, all took place before the overthrow of Bishop, 
added proof that the Americans knew that events in 
Grenada were coming to a head. (As noted above, a 
congressional source has said the Pentagon admitted in a 
secret briefing that it knew of the coup against Bishop two 
weeks in advance.) 

The reported "slip of the tongue" of the U.S. Ambassador 
to France, Evan Galbraith, is further evidence. He said on 
French television on October 26 that the invasion was "an 
action which had begun two weeks ago," leading many to 
suspect that the administration thought of bringing France 
into the plan. When later confronted, Galbraith said that he 
had "misspoken," that it would be "ridiculous to suggest" 
that the invasion had been planned before the overthrow of 
Bishop. (New York Times, November 6, 1983.) 

Another interesting report, noted earlier, was in the 
October 1983 issue of Caribbean Contact, the newspaper of 
the Caribbean Council of Churches, published in Barbados. 
An article by editor Ricky Singh discussed at length 
opposition charges that the government of Prime Minister 
Tom Adams was having a contingent of the fledgling 
Barbados Defense Force trained in Washington by the CIA. 
Adams did not directly deny the charges, but simply 
responded glibly that, "So far as I know, the Central 
Intelligence Agency is not a military organization." Errol 
Barrow, leader of the opposition, countered this with a 
caustic reference to the Bay of Pigs invasion and the 
Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries. Additionally, a month 
before the invasion, Barrow complained that the stockpiling 
of medical supplies suggested ominous preparations for war. 
In a move which only gave more credence to the reports, 
Singh, a Guyanese exile, was told by the Adams government 
on November 1 that his work permit was revoked 
"immediately" and that he had to leave Barbados, unless he 
recanted his outspoken opposition to the U.S. invasion. 

The Imminent Invasion 

As the time for the invasion approached, pressures from 
the U.S. intensified to the point that Caribbean leaders who 
were opposed to it, such as Trinidad and Tobago Prime 
Minister George Chambers and Guyana Prime Minister 
Forbes Burnham, were being excluded from meetings and 
kept misinformed. Ironically, Chambers, a conservative, is 
facing criticism from his even more conservative rivals for 
failing to support the invasion, and there is talk of U.S. 
economic retaliation, including the threatened removal of 
U.S. oil refineries. 

State Department spokesmen, such as Deputy Assistant 
Secretary James H. Michel at an October 28 briefing, insisted 
that the decision to invade was made by the OECS, who 
"came to us." But the suggestion is fatuous. Reported 
incidents clarify who was calling the shots. 

The urgency of timing was underscored when Deputy 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Covert Action 13 

Assistant Secretary of State Charles Gillespie (now 
"Ambassador" to Grenada) surfaced in Barbados at 
meetings between OECS leaders and Prime Minister Seaga 
of Jamaica and Adams of Barbados — meetings at which 
those countries allegedly decided to ask for U.S. aid. The 
Washington Post noted that Gillespie was in Barbados "on a 
previously scheduled visit" when the regional talks turned to 
the discussion of invasion. The "previously" scheduled visit, 
according to Newsda\\ was "a trip to the region with Vice 
President George Bush on the weekend of October 1 5, "just 
after Bishop was placed under house arrest, and the same 
time that Adams said "a U.S. official" approached him with 
the idea of a "rescue" mission for Bishop. 

The U.S. line surely strains credulity. Ironically, as the 
Post also reported, even as these top level officals were later 
pressuring and dictating to their Caribbean allies, "diplo- 
matic efforts by Caribbean nations were under way that were 
aimed at lifting the island's curfew and allowing planes to 
come in and evacuate anyone who wanted to leave." These 
efforts did not square with the U.S. scenario, of course. 

Yet spokesman Michel, with little regard for his 
credibility, reiterated, "I will say to you categorically, we did 
not propose action to the Eastern Caribbean nations. They 
proposed it to us." Such is the spineless nature of the 
Washington media that although not a single journalist 
believed this, no one would call Michel a liar. 

Stage Managing the Invasion 

The almost unbelievably strict press censorship imposed 

U.S. Ranger surveys mental hospital rubble. After perfunctory 
search for bodies. Pentagon ordered entire building demolished. 

by the U.S. for the first several days of the invasion was 
clever on two accounts. As could be expected, it prevented 
anyone from confirming or refuting whatever official 
statements issued forth from the Pentagon, the State 
Department, and the White House, many of which, it later 
transpired, were outright lies. But it also deflected media 
scrutiny by making the censorship as big a story for the 
media as the invasion. Half the precious minutes on the 
nightly TV news programs were devoted to the adventures of 
small bands of correspondents trying by air and water to 
break the blockade. Media pundits waxed self-righteous 
over the Pentagon spokesman's gaffe that "we learned a 
lesson from the British in the Falklands," where independent 
reporters were kept completely away from the operation. 

What is so disturbing is that despite the blustering about 
censorship, most of the U.S. media accepted supinely e\er\ 
tidbit they were handed, and rarely concerned themsehes 
with what they were not being told. It was a war of images, 
and the first images to reach the American public were 
controlled by the administration: a gaggle of groveling 
medical school students kissing an airport runway, instead 
of a mental hospital blasted to smitherines, patients and all. 

A few reporters who did get on the island during the 
invasion were taken by American forces to the U.S.S. 
Guam and held incommunicado for a day to prevent them 
from filing stories. After their release, the American 
reporters seemed to toe the U.S. line. The London 
Observer's Hugh CTShaughnessy told quite a different story. 
He found out what the U.S. thought of his presence as he was 
flown out a few days later to Barbados and working 
telephones. The U.S. public affairs officer remarked, "You 
really threw a wrench in the works. We were expecting to 
have the story to ourselves. " 

The only contemporaneous reporting of the invasion 
came from two American ham radio operators on the island, 
one a medical school student, Mark B. Barettella, the othera 
12-year resident, Don Atkinson. As the newspapers, which 
made Barettella a hero and virtually ignored Atkinson, 
noted, they "transmitted dramatically different views of the 
situation on Grenada." Atkinson was a vocal critic of the 
Reagan administration's position and he stressed that the 
students had not been in any danger until the U.S. invaded. 
During the transmissions, Atkinson's house was strafed in 
an apparent attempt to destroy his antenna. Barettella 
referred repeatedly to sniper fire near the school campus, 
asking that helicopters divert around the school to draw the 
fire, and reporting that the students were lying low, waiting 
to be rescued. Interestingly, as was noted in the October 28 
New York Times, hams monitoring the transmissions 
"puzzled . . . over the cryptic, coded responses Mr. Barettella 
made about troop movements. " There was no explanation 
of this reference to code, but it should be remembered that 
Barettella was at the same medical school complex as 
Newsweek's "mystery man," the "retired" Foreign Service 
officer who had served in Laos. 

The Lies 

Of course the censorship was not imposed by the adminis- 
tration and the military merely to suppress information. It 
was also used to peddle lies and half-truths, while they were 
complacent in the knowledge that no one on Grenada could 
reach the media effectively to expose the nature and extent 
of the disinformation. (A good review of much of the 
"official misinformation" can be found in Stuart Taylor's full 

14 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

page piece on the subject in the November 6 New 
York Times.) 

The first lies surfaced even before the invasion had begun 
and censorship been imposed. When the fleet bound for 
Lebanon was diverted after the murder of Bishop, it was 
described as a "precautionary move," and as late as the night 
before the invasion reporters were told by the President's 
press secretary, Larry Speakes, that the fleet was to 
"monitor" the situation, that there were "no plans for U.S. 
military action in Grenada, "that rumors of an invasion were 
"preposterous." Yet the fact of the invasion was hardly a 
secret to anyone except the American people. Detailed 
rumors were flying at the Caricom and OECS meetings; and 
Radio Free Grenada was denouncing an imminent attack. 

Official lies about the composition of the attacking force 
abounded. Both President Reagan and Eugenia Charles 
referred to a "multinational force." But every single soldier 
involved in the invasion was American. After the island was 
occupied, the other members of the "multinational" force 
were flown in and comfortably ensconced in police jobs. As 
Hugh O'Shaughnessy pointed out, "It was clear to anyone 
on the island however that no Jamaican or Barbadian or St. 
Lucian or Antiguan or Dominican or Vincentian, whether in 
military uniform or dressed as a policeman, had had any part 
in the fighting whatsoever. We saw nothing but U.S. 
troops." And, he was told, "Admiral Metcalf commands the 
ships, the island, and the aircraft." 

The Cubans on Grenada 

Some of the most outrageous lies concerned the Cubans 
on Grenada. The first was the notion that the Rangers 
parachuted into heavy Cuban fire. As the Cuban government 
statements published here, and common sense, demonstrate, 
the Cubans did not fire upon the descending Rangers. They 
had orders not to fire unless attacked. (See sidebar.) 

The Cubans were sandbagged twice. Even before the 
invasion, they had made it clear to the world in general and 
the U.S. Interests Section in particular that they were 
appalled by the actions of the Revolutionary Military 
Council, and that they did not intend to get involved in 
internal Grenadian affairs. They wished to cooperate in 
ensuring the safety of U.S. residents on Grenada and, later, in 
the return of their own people. The Cuban government had 
refused to supply arms or reinforcements to the RMC, but 
had determined that it would be dishonorable to evacuate its 
citizens just as an invasion was imminent. Cuba even tried to 
advise the RMC how to prevent an invasion. They suggested 
that the area around the airport and the medical school be 
completely demilitarized so that a pretext of danger to the 
students would be eliminated, a suggestion which was not 
followed, but which shows the falsity of U.S. suggestions 
that the Cubans were planning to take students hostage. 

The fact is that the Cubans did not even obstruct the 
Ranger landings. They were in their barracks at the far end 
of the site, assuming they would not be involved in the 
subsequent battle. The Rangers did meet some hostile fire 
as 350 of them parachuted onto the field from a low 500 feet, 
but that was Grenadian anti-aircraft fire. Returning Rangers 
who were interviewed by the media spoke only of anti- 
aircraft fire, not of any shooting from the Cuban 
construction workers at the other end of the field. And, given 
the Cubans' position there, it is impossible that, had they 
been trying to shoot the descending Rangers, none would 
have been hit. Yet, shortly after landing and clearing the 

runway for additional troop landings, the Rangers attacked 
the Cubans, commencing a day's fierce fighting. 

That night the Cubans and the Americans exchanged 
diplomatic notes again and the Cubans were assured that 
they were "not a target" and that their ultimate evacuation 
would not be considered a "surrender." The following 
morning, the reassured Cubans remaining in defensive 
positions were directly attacked by helicopter gunships. 

The Numbers Game 

The numbers game played by the U.S. was audacious. 
Though the Cuban government had always admitted there 
were between seven and eight hundred Cubans on Grenada, 
almost all of them construction workers, the U.S. insisted, 
even two days after the invasion was launched, that there 
were at least 1 , 100 and perhaps 2,000 Cubans on the island, 
and that they were all trained soldiers, most of them 
"impersonating" construction workers. As late as the 28th, 
Vice Admiral Metcalf said that "several hundred Cubans 
had escaped into Grenada's hills and could cause problems 
for U.S. troops in the coming weeks." ( Washington Post, 
October 30, 1983.) He also said that a search party had been 
sent to the tiny island of Cariacou, north of Grenada, to hunt 
for missing Cubans. None was ever found. 

The next day the U.S. admitted that a "closer reading" of 
captured documents, which had supposedly led to the high 
estimates, actually confirmed the figures released by the 
Cuban government. Moreover, they finally admitted that 
the construction workers appeared to be construction 
workers. Other similar errors were made. During the first 
week of the invasion the U.S. said there were 30 Soviet and 
an unspecified number of East German military advisers on 
the island. None ever materialized. 

The President's speech to the nation, while fighting was in 
progress, stressed the inflated figures. He spoke of 
documents which indicated an immiment influx of thousands 
of Cubans. The next day Pentagon officials reiterated this, 
noting that 4,341 troops from Cuba were expected. "We got 
there just in time," the President said. Later it transpired that 
the documents related to a proposed expansion of the 
Grenadian army and had nothing to do with Cuba. 

The President also referred to warehouses "stacked to the 
ceiling" with weapons and ammunition, "enough to supply 
thousands of terrorists. "This was typically perverse Reagan 
rhetoric. The weapons were sufficient to supply the militia 
too, the purpose for which virtually all observers now admit 
they were intended. Moreover, as Stuart Taylor noted, "the 
warehouses were no more than half-full, and many weapons 
were antiquated. "The arms merchant and ex-CIA employee, 
Sam Cummings, whose Virginia and Britain-based Inter- 
arms operation commands a corner on 90% of all "private" 
weapons trade in the world, called the Pentagon's captured 
materiel "a very mixed and relatively miserable bag." The 
Christian Science Monitor (November 7, 1983) was more 
specific: "Administration officials had said there were 
enough Cuban arms in Grenada to maintain a 14,000 to 
17,000 man expeditionary force. But the U.S. government's 
own figures show: 6,323 rifles, 13 antiaircraft guns, 111 
machine guns, 78 RPGs (shoulder rocket launchers), and 
12 Soviet-made armored personnel carriers." And of the 
6,000 rifles, only about 400 to 800 were "reasonably 
modern;" the rest were very old, including many "antiques," 
some from the Nineteenth Century. 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Covert Action 15 

The Body Counts 

The reports of American casualties incurred in the 
invasion were total fabrications. Even at CAIB press time, 
weeks after the invasion, it is not known how many 
Americans died or were wounded. For one thing, the 
Pentagon does not count as casualties anyone not killed or 
wounded by enemy fire, and now it appears that dozens of 
Gls were victims of "friendly fire," U.S. mistakes. 

While President Reagan and other officials prided 
themselves on the "surgical precision" of the operation, what 
really happened was that Americans strafed other 
Americans; helicopters crashed into each other; landing 
craft overturned and sank. For example, four commandos 
drowned in the operation to rescue the Governor General 
before they even hit the shore. Early reports said that 6 or 8 
Americans were killed in the fighting, a figure later amended 
to 18. But the London Guardian of November 10 reported 
that at least 42 Americans had died, and some reports 
suggested the figure may be as high as 70. And numbers of 
Americans wounded are equally inconclusive. 

Official figures relating to Cuban deaths and injuries were 
also outrageous— inflated, rather than understated. Initial 
reports suggested that only Cubans were resisting the 
invasion, which was untrue, and the first U.S. figures of 
Cubans captured and killed added up to more than all the 
Cubans on the island, as Vice Admiral Metcalf learned to his 
later embarrassment when he scoffed at Cuban statements 
that there were less than 800 Cubans on the island. "That's 
patently false," he told reporters. "If you believe that, we've 
already killed and captured more people than they have 
here." And Metcalf did not make this statement in the heat 
of battle, but five days after the invasion. 

Grenadian Resistance and Casualties 

The greatest inaccuracies, lies, and coverups related to the 
Grenadians. From the outset, the U.S. portrayed all the 
resistance as Cuban, all the fighting as between Cubans and 
Americans. But there was considerable Grenadian resistance I 
to the invasion, from the initial antiaircraft fire directed at 
the Rangers to the sniper attacks still being reported at press 
time. Only four days after the initial assault did Vice 
Admiral Metcalf admit that any of the combatants were 

For two weeks the occupying Americans refused to 
provide any accounting whatsoever of Grenadian casualties. 
Despite reports of large numbers of deaths, of fields of 
bodies, of overcrowded hospitals and clinics, of heavy 
fighting in many locations, U.S. officials continue to deny 
high Grenadian casualties. On November 11 a public 
information officer finally chalked up on a blackboard, 
under "Grenadian casualties," "21 killed in action, 111 
wounded." Reporters rushed to copy down the figures. 
Within a few hours the figures had been erased and a new 
notice was posted: "No figures at this time." ( Washington 
Post, November 12, 1983.) Only two days before, the deputy 
commander of the invasion had told reporters that 
"roughly" 160 Grenadian soldiers had been killed. But 
observers on the scene all indicated that hundreds of 
islanders met their deaths in the invasion. 

While the Americans were announcing, and displaying, 
every single bullet (5,615,682), shotgun (300), and flare 
(24,768) allegedly captured on Grenada (United Press 
International, November 12, 1983), they professed no idea 
how many Grenadians had been killed or wounded. The 
excuses given ranged from the ludicrous to the morbid. 
Larry Speakes, the President's press secretary, announced 
first that it was impossible to tell how many Grenadians had 
been killed because they had a religious custom of immediate 
burial of the dead. When it was pointed out that most 
Grenadians are Roman Catholics, he corrected his account, 
admitting the obvious, that although no religious custom 
was involved, the dead are buried quickly in tropical 
climates. However, he did not explain why no inquiries were 
made of priests, funeral directors and cemetery personnel, 
who would have had no reason to hide the number of recent 

Vice Admiral Metcalf was more macabre: "1 know the 
figure will be higher when we get a final count," he told 
journalists. "Why, just this morning we found a field near 
here full of bodies. These people have been in that field a 
long time, and no one feels particularly good about counting 
them." Weeks after the invasion, in fact, Grenadians were 
still dealing with the gruesome task of locating, usually by 
smell, and burying the bodies which lay all over the island. 
The full casualty figures will never be known. 

Another short-lived news story concerned the existence of 
a "mass grave" on the southern shore of the island, with 
some 100 to 200 bodies in it. The initial reports suggested 
that perhaps the grave contained people killed in the 
massacre at Fort Rupert which led to the death of Bishop. 
However, the next day U.S. officials were forced to admit a 
"mistake." The State Department was actually holding press 
conferences in Washington based on rumors! 

It remains unknown how many people did die in thecoup 
before the invasion, but it has been suggested by a number of 
informed sources that the U.S. may be trying to inflate the 


He's Also a Man 

One of Washington's favorite Reaganauts, US1A 
Director Charles Z. Wick (see CAIB Numbers 16 and 
19), had a heavy hand in the media coverage of the 
invasion of Grenada. Wick was upset by what he called 
the "biased" reporting— including the use of the 
"pejorative" term "invasion"— so he had his agency, at 
taxpayers' expense, prepare a junket for at least ten 
Washington-based journalists, mostly Europeans. 
They were flown to Grenada and hosted there for four 
days by U.S. officials. 

It also transpired that the agency had taken at least 
12 other journalists on a two-week tour of Central 
America just two weeks earlier. Wick, who is never 
daunted by overstatement, accused people who used 
terms like "invasion" of "putting our society in 
jeopardy." He insisted he would continue such trips to 
help get the U.S. government's message across. 

Wick used a few dangerous words of his own 
recently. On December 3, addressing the California 
Press Association in San Francisco, when asked why 
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not 
support the invasion of Grenada, he said, "She's a 
great prime minister. She's also a woman." When the 
audience groaned. Wick begged, "Please don't print 
what 1 just said." • 

V s 

16 Covert Action 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

number of those killed at Fort Rupert to hide the extent of 
deaths from the invasion. 

The "Intelligence Failure" 

A further lie was the so-called intelligence failure, 
discussed in the early aftermath of the invasion. Originally 
officials expressed chagrin that the military did not know 
there were nearly twice as many Cubans on Grenada as had 
been reported by intelligence sources, or that most of them 
were trained soldiers, not construction workers. However, 
since this information turned out to be false, and the original 
estimates correct, it is unclear how this was an intelligence 
"failure.'" Moreover, what actually seems to have irked the 
Pentagon most was how tenaciously the Grenadians and the 
Cubans fought. The -resistance was, as the Canadian 
magazine MacLean's put it, "stiffer than expected." One 
wonders why it was unexpected, since the Grenadians and the 
Cubans had always said they would fight fiercely and to the 
death against any Yankee aggression. 

An interesting reason for the"confusion" over the number 
of Cubans on Grenada emerged in Canadian media, 
suggesting that an inflated Cuban presence was a CI A media 
disinformation operation planned well before the invasion 
which may have misled some Pentagon analysts not in on the 
scam. An "authoritative" article on Cubans in Grenada had 
been written for the November issue of Naval Institute 
Proceedings by Timothy Ashby, described in the Toronto 
Globe and Mail (October 29, 1983) as "a visiting scholar at 
the Hoover Institute at Stanford University who lived in 
Grenada on and off for 1 3 years." In fact, Ashby prepared an 
October 26, 1983 preliminary draft report on Grenada for 
The Conservative Caucus Research, Analysis & Education 
Foundation, Inc., with much the same hysterical misinfor- 
mation. An advance copy of the naval magazine article was 
provided to Reuters shortly before the invasion, and 
described in its wire service dispatches. The article not only 
insisted that there were more than 1,000 Cubans on 
Grenada, and that more than 300 of them were trained, 
full-time military, but also faulted anyone who did not know 
this for not keeping their eyes open. Much of the equipment 
involved, the author asserted, was on display in a March 
1983 parade in Grenada. 

The disinformationists were hoist by their own petard. 
The article was touted in the media to demonstrate that there 
should not have been the intelligence failure which at the 
time was thought to have occurred. The irony is that the 
invasion provided positive proof that the so-called facts of 
the authoritative article were themselves untrue, deliberate 
disinformation intended to be part of the ongoing propa- 
ganda war against Grenada. The unfortunate author had no 
idea that his lies were going to be exposed so quickly. 

The highly touted intelligence failure was nothing more 
than a smokescreen to hide the fact that a few hundred 
Cubans and several hundred Grenadians were fiercely 
resisting some 6,000 to 8,000 elite U.S. troops on the island 
and more than 10,000 more on ships off the coast. 

International Condemnation and Domestic Accolades 

Perhaps the biggest lie asserted was the contention that 
what the United States was doing was lawful. (See sidebar.) 
But the Reagan administration evidently cared nothing for 
international law or world opinion. More than a hundred 
nations condemned the invasion, including most of the 

United States's closest and most important allies, and the 
President responded that "it didn't upset my breakfast. "The 
British and West Germans were most concerned because of 
the impending arrival of U.S. nuclear missiles, over which 
they expect some share of control. The curt dismissal of 
Prime Minister Thatcher's objections to the invasion led 
European allies to wonder about whose finger will be on 
the button. 

What Reagan really cared about was domestic reaction, 
and his carefully staged and managed affair appeared to 
have worked, at least in the short run. Hours after the 
invasion, street interviewees were saying, "1 hope the 
Marines get 'em," without knowing who "'em" was. Polls 
showed a rise in the President's popularity and support for 
the invasion, all of which stemmed from a steady diet of lies. 
As Senator Paul Tsongas (Dem.-Mass.) pointed out, "most 
people, once they saw the polls come out, went 

The invasion of Grenada instantly unified Republicans 
and divided Democrats, as one pollster observed. This could 
hardly have been a coincidence: The President had been in 
trouble domestically over the bombing of the Marine 
barracks in Beirut, a political problem which almost 
evaporated with his invasion of Grenada. Moreover, the 
victory of the U.S. media operation has led to further 
military maneuvers in the Caribbean and deep fears in 
Nicaragua, Cuba, and El Salvador. 

Any suggestion of self-determination for the new 
Grenadian "government" was quickly dispelled by the clear 
relationship of dependence on its U.S. mentors. It was the 
Americans, in the person of Ashley Wills aboard the U.S.S. 
Guam and Charles Gillespie waiting expectantly in 
Barbados, not the Grenadians, who were deciding on the 
makeup of the new puppet government. A "cabinet-in-exile" 
sat hunched over shortwave radios in Barbados as the 
fighting raged; the prospective quislings had been brought 
there by the U.S. and were staying in blocks of 
condominiums rented by the U.S. Embassy there. 

Perhaps the only idea the Americans got from a 
Grenadian was how to characterize the invasion. Associated 
Press stringer, Grenadian Alister Hughes, a constant critic 
of the Bishop government, said on television, "Thank God 
for the Americans. I don't regard it as an invasion. I regard it 
as a rescue operation." Several days later. President Reagan, 
who had himself called the operation an invasion, chided 
reporters at a press conference: "Incidentally, 1 know your 
frequent use of the word invasion; this was a rescue mission." 

The "Liberators" 

Virtually all the media have given extensive coverage to 
the apparent relief with which many Grenadians greeted the 
invaders. But as a London Sunday Times writer noted, in 
1969 the Catholics in Northern Ireland welcomed the British 
soldiers into Londonderry, seeing them as protectors against 
Protestant violence. Former Grenadian U.N. Ambassador 
Kenrick Radix said that after the coup, the massacre at Fort 
Rupert, and the murder of Bishop and his supporters, the 
people would have welcomed the Devil himself. The 
Washington Times, an organ of Reverend Sun Myung 
Moon's Unification Church, ran a shockingly insensitive 
front-page interview with Maurice Bishop's mother and 
Jacqueline Creft's parents, obviously overjoyed at the U.S. 
overthrow of the RMC. But to infer that they therefore 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Covert Action 17 

supported Ronald Reagan and gunboat intervention is 
completely unjustified. The Washington Times, incidentally, 

had its reporters and photographer included in the first 
Pentagon-sponsored flights to Grenada, bumping more 

International Law and the Invasion 

Until public opinion jelled favorably for the President, 
at least temporarily, it was important for the administra- 
tion to insist that its actions had some validity under 
international law. Although the United Nations Charter 
and the Charter of the Organization of American States 
flatly prohibit armed intervention against another state, 
self-defense is a recognized exception to the prohibitions 
on the use of force. The initial U.S. position— which 
waffled considerably— was that Grenada's neighbors 
feared an imminent invasion by Grenada, a rationale 
which now seems fatuous, or that Grenada, in the person 
of the Governor General, had joined in a unanimous 
request by the OECS members for intervention to help 
him restore order. The latter assertion is untrue, since the 
Governor General has admitted that he did not send such 
a request until after the invasion was already in its final 
countdown (and in any event the message was not 
received). The U.S. was forced to argue next that the 
Revolutionary Military Council was not a government, 
even though they had been negotiating with it over the 
safety of the students, and that there was no government 
on Grenada except the Governor General, who wanted an 
invasion, even if he couldn't get a message out to that 

This argument is somewhat dampened by the fact that 
the Governor General is a representative of the Queen of 
England, whose government opposed the invasion. Nor is 
there any British constitutional precedent for this line. 
Moreover, the OECS treaty referred to threats from 
outside the region, and it required unanimous consent for 
intervention. No matter who or what was the government 
of Grenada, neither St. Kitts-Nevis nor Montserrat 
approved of the invasion. Further, despite what the 
OECS treaty might have allowed, the United States, and 
Grenada for that matter, both subscribed to the U.N. 
Charter and the OAS Charter, both of which absolutely 
prohibit armed intervention. 

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., no dove, argued eloquently in 
the Wall Street Journal (November 9, 1983) that the 
"sneak attack" was alien to U.S. heritage and tradition. 
He destroyed each of the justifications given by the 
administration: As for the students, "there was no 
evidence that these students were in danger or were 
detained against their will." On the necessity to avert 
chaos: "No evidence had been submitted that there was 
chaos in Grenada," beyond the killings of some officials 
by other officials. As for the contention that the request 
had come from the OECS states, he noted that " 'the 
formal request,' according to the New York Times, 'was 
drafted in Washington and conveyed to the Caribbean 
leaders by special American emissaries.' " With regard to 
the assertion that intervention was necessary to "restore 
order and democracy in Grenada," he remarked that this 
"would have a little more plausibility if we showed an 
equal determination to restore order and democracy in, 

say, Haiti or Chile." 

The legal scholars differed, to say the least, but it 
appears that only a few of the most reactionary could find 
support for the President's actions. Some "justifications" 
were ludicrous. Professor Anthony D'Amato of North- 
western, in a letter to the New York Times, posited a 
doctrine of "constructive invitation." "If Prime Minister 
Maurice Bishop had survived the attack on his life, he 
might well have invited the United States into Grenada to 

protect him against the coup by Gen. Hudson Austin 

Should the fact that Austin succeeded in murdering 
Bishop erase an invitation that otherwise surely would 
have been extended?" 

This errant claptrap was attacked in a followup letter to 
the Times from Professor Josef Silverstcin of Rutgers. He 
pointed out that the suggestion could only be valid, if 
then, had there been no government whatsoever after 
the coup. But, he noted, there was a ruling RMC with 
which the United States was talking and negotiating. 
What is more, the notion that Maurice Bishop ever would 
have welcomed, much less called for, a U.S. invasion of 
Grenada is an insult to his memory. 

Other scholars, such as Professor Burns Weston of the 
University of Iowa, have dismissed the administration's 
alleged concern for the human rights of the Grenadians as 
"laughable," considering the governments which it 
supports, like El Salvador. And it is difficult to quibble 
with the language of the OAS Charter (Article 17) that 
no state can occupy another's territory "even temporarily 
... on any grounds whatsoever." 

An interesting legal sidelight was exposed in the 
November 6 London Sunday Telegraph, which dis- 
covered that 27 U.S. military policemen had sworn an 
oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth 11 in order to serve 
under the Grenada Police Commissioner and thus have 
legal authority to arrest and detain Grenadians. The M Ps 
evidently found it humorous, telling reporters it was "no 
big deal." "We have a father in America— Ronnie 
Reagan," one of them said, "and now we have a mother in 

It also transpired that even during the invasion and its 
aftermath the U.S. violated international law regarding 
both the law of war and the treatment of prisoners. 
During the initial fighting at the airport, the Rangers had 
advanced on a Cuban position using some captured 
Cubans as human shields, a blatant violation of 
international law. The bombing of the mental hospital 
and obvious civilian sites, assertedly errors, also suggest 
violations. And, as front page pictures in the U.S. media 
attested, key Grenadian prisoners such as Austin and 
the Coards were shackled and blindfolded as they were 
transferred from the Guam to Richmond Hill prison, a 
violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the 
treatment of prisoners of war. 

18 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

experienced reporters from established newspapers. This 
more than suggested U.S. government cooperation in 
getting to Mrs. Bishop and the Crefts. (See also "Pak in the 
Saddle" article.) 

Another major media manipulation involves the slow 
release of "captured"documents, some 6,000 pounds worth, 
according to U.S. officials, although only five pounds had 
been released at press time. It will be almost impossible to 
know for sure whether each document is genuine or altered 
or forged, although the few already released do not, on close 
reading, support the broad and sweeping generalizations 
which the government says they prove. Many documents 
released by the State Department to prove "communist 
interference in El Salvador" turned out to be forgeries, and 
the others did not say what they were alleged to say, or 
demonstrate the "facts" the government said they proved. 

Psychological Operations 

Already U.S. imperialism, aided by American intelligence 
agencies, is commencing a mind control operation on 
Grenada. Symbols of the New Jewel Movement and of the 
Revolution have been bombed out of existence, like Butler 
House, Radio Free Grenada, and even Bishop's mother's 
house (which the State Department said was hit by accident, 
like the mental hospital). 

Army PSYOPS (psychological operations) teams are 
hard at work, with the CIA, interrogating everyone on the 
island, not merely to discover members of the Peoples 
Revolutionary Army or the Revolutionary Military Council, 
but all of Bishop's supporters as well. The PSYOPS people 
are caught in a contradiction, however. Recognizing the 
respect and love the vast majority of the Grenadian people 
had for Bishop, they must give lip service to his memory at 
the same time they attempt to eradicate anything connected 
to his programs. 

The suggestion that Bishop supporters have not been as 
suspect as anyone else in what remained of the Grenada 
government is belied by the massive witchhunt that went 
into effect immediately after the invasion. Hundreds of 
Grenadians— including Kenrick Radix, who had been jailed 
by the RMC for leading a pro-Bishop demonstration — were 
being rounded up by U.S. forces and interrogated if 
"suspected or accused of sympathizing or having had ties 
with the government of slain prime minister Maurice Bishop 
or the short-lived military council that replaced him." 
(Washington Post, November 13, 1983.) Soldiers at 
roadblocks and at the airports carry notebooks filled with 
long lists of such alleged sympathizers. Assisting the U.S. 
troops in the roadblocks and in house to house searching, 
according to the London Guardian (November 5, 1983), are 
former members of Eric Gairy's notorious Mongoose Gang, 
who were released from prison by the invaders, and who 
have an obvious axe to grind with anyone connected wit h the 
Bishop government. 

The PSYOPS teams have been very heavy-handed. They 
are operating a radio station on the old RFG frequency, 
called Spice Island Radio, which alternates pure propaganda 
with American rock and roll. Col. Jim Ashworth, the 
PSYOPS commander, told the New York Times they would 
turn over the operation when Grenadians are "ready to 
resume operating the station." 

The PSYOPS teams are also plastering the island with 
posters and bulletin boards from which many islanders get 
their only local news. Posters show Bernard Coard and 

Bishop's law partner, Kenrick Radix, firm supporter to the end. 

Hudson Austin in custody, in various states of undress, 
above text which reads, "These criminals attempted to sell 
Grenada out to the communists. Now they have surrendered. 
The Grenadian people will never again allow such characters 
to assume power and cause such hardship. Support 
democracy in Grenada." 

CIA interrogations are sweeping, almost unrelated to 
realities in Grenada, or to any security needs. Reglna Fuchs, 
a West German nurse who had been working at a clinic in 
Grenada for a year and a half, told the Washington Post 
(November 21, 1983) that she was kept in Richmond Hill jail 
for two days and interrogated relentlessly about whether she 
had ever demonstrated against the Vietnam War, whom she 
knew when she attended medical school, whether she had 
ever met Philip Agee in Germany, and the like. She was 
falsely accused of harboring fugitives by two Americans, one 
named Ed and the other named Frank Gonzales, who 
identified himself to her as CIA. 

It remains unclear under what authority the Americans 
are rounding up civilians, arresting and interrogating them. 
For a time, the U.S. said they were detaining people for their 
own safety, which strained belief. They then said that under 
international law they had the right to detain combatants 
until thecessation of actual hostilities; but they continued to 
arrest combatants and non-combatants long after the 
shooting was over. Finally they have suggested they are 
detaining people upon the orders and authority of Sir Paul 
Scoon, the Governor General. Perhaps without grasping the 
cruel irony of his words, Sir Paul exclaimed at one point to 
reporters, "The Americans have done a bloody good job." 
Yet no one really believes that Sir Paul has any power but 
what the Americans decide he has. It was, as noted, the U.S. 
which brought Grenadian exiles to Barbados for eventual 
positions in an "interim government." 

Greatly uplifted by it all was the Grenada Democratic 
Movement, a small group which had opposed the NJM, 
picketing with its motley band every appearance in the U.S. 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Covert Action 19 

by a Grenadian official. The president, Francis Alexis, had 
been in Barbados for some time; other officials, such as 
Keith Mitchell, were on their way to Barbados the day 
after the invasion began. Reactions of some well known 
Grenadians were less than heroic. It was one thing to "tank 
Gawd" for the "rescue;" but some, like former Attorney 
General Lloyd Noel, have taken to wearing U.S. Army shirts 
and calling for a permanent U.S. military base on Grenada. 

The real overt power in Grenada seems to be Charles 
Anthony Gillespie, the U.S. "Ambassador" (even though 
there is no government to which he can present his 
credentials and be accredited). The Ross Point Inn Hotel 
and Restaurant, which had always been a favorite for U.S. 
diplomats visiting Grenada, has been taken over as the 
Embassy and now houses the only de facto government on 
the island. 

Another elusive and powerful figure is Ashley Wills, who 
was a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and 
whom Bishop accused in July of being a CIA officer. Wills 
has been intimately involved in Eastern Caribbean affairs 
for some time (see CA/B Number 10). During the invasion, 
Wills was seen by London Guardian reporter Greg 
Chamberlain on board the U.S. S. Guam, who described him 
as "the political adviser to the U.S. operation." Wills told 

E. Ashley Wills, reported to be power behind U.S. presence in 

Chamberlain he had been "called away from his 'university 
studies' in the U.S. 36 hours before the invasion." 

The Airport and the Cubans 

One of the more far-reaching ironies of the invasion has 
been the near-completed international airport. U.S. officials 
have "quietly" dropped their references to the Bishop 
government's prospective use of it for military purposes. 
Only after the invasion did the U.S. media report the 
repeated assurances from British and American contractors 
that the airport was designed for civilian use, and only now 
are U.S. officials conceding, despite three years' assertions to 
the contrary by President Reagan, that the airport is 
essential to the Grenadian economy. 

But the greater irony is that the invasion has shown that 
the airport can indeed be used for military purposes— the 
taking off and landing of military aircraft. It could even be 
used by the U.S. against Central America. 

It is already known that the Pentagon is allowing U.S. 
charter companies to join LIAT, formerly the only airline 
serving Grenada. One, Arrow Air, is a charter company 
licensed by the U.S. to fly between Miami and Havana. 
Within three weeks of the invasion it had added Grenada 
and Suriname to its territories. 

The stories about the Cubans in Grenada apparently will 
never let up. Even after the initial fighting was over, "senior 
Pentagon officials" were saying that the very existence of 
Cuba made it unlikely that the security of Grenada could be 
left to a Caribbean constabulary, even though that was the 
theory announced at the time of the invasion. And, if all the 
Cubans on Grenada were gone, how could "the Cubans" 
pose a problem? Indeed the rush to rid the island of Cubans 
led to the shipment of 42 bodies to Cuba, at least 1 2 of which 
were obviously not Cuban, dressed as they were in PRA 

One of the most ludicrous rumors was taken quite 
seriously by the U.S. press— a State Department assertion 
that intelligence reports emanating from Cuba contained 
"death threats" against Americans "in retaliation for the 
invasion of Grenada." (New York Times, November 2, 
1 983.) No evidence of any threats was ever produced, and the 
reports ceased to appear, though they indicate the depths to 
which anti-Cuban propaganda will stoop. 

The Implications 

Clearly, one of the most significant implications of the 
invasion of Grenada has been a dangerous flexing of U.S. 
military muscle in the region. New Caribbean naval 
maneuvers were ordered within days of the invasion and 
reports of the military's heightened role in U.S. foreign 
policy were rife. 

Directly threatened by such saber-rattling are Nicaragua, 
Cuba, and El Salvador. Any talk of the "impossibility" of a 
U.S. invasion of Nicaragua has been mooted by the fate of 
Grenada. Nicaragua is feverishly preparing for just such an 
invasion — and even before the attack on Grenada, contra 
activity had escalated dramatically (as described elsewhere 
in this issue). The U.S. -sponsored war against Nicaragua has 
increased both qualitatively and quantitatively in recent 
months. Nicaragua is arming all of its people and creating a 
nation-wide militia to prevent a repeat of Grenada. But it is 
clear the situation there is not parallel to that in Grenada. 
There are no splits within the revolutionary leadership, 
which functions far more collectively than any other socialist 
government. There is a universal recognition that the best 
defense is an armed population. And there is both 
widespread support for the government and widespread 
disgust for the U.S. policy of arming and supporting the 

In Cuba, the fear of attack is also real; on Grenada, for the 
first time, U.S. troops engaged in combat with Cubans. Ever 
since Reagan came to power Cuba has been bolstering and 
reinforcing its militia, a policy which has been accelerated. 
One can only hope that the U.S. will study the mathematics 
of the situation before acting. If it took 8,000 or more trained 
troops to vanquish several hundred Cubans and Grenadians, 
it would take many more combat soldiers than the U.S. has 
in the world to defeat the Cubans or the Nicaraguans. • 

20 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Cuban Statements on Grenada 


It has now become clearly evident that a deep conflict had been evolving 
within the leadershipand the Grenada ruling Party for some weeks, perhaps 
even months 

When Maurice Bishop, main leader of the Party and Prime Minister of 
Grenada, made a brief stop-over of some 36 hours in Cuba, from Thursday 
evening, October 6, to Saturday morning, October 8 — after an official visit to 
Hungary and Czechoslovakia— in his talks with comrade Fidel and other 
Cuban leaders, he did not make the slightest reference to the serious discus- 
sions and differences taking place within the New Jewel Movement, the 
name under which the ruling party of his country is known, thereby evidenc- 
ing great dignity and respect for his Party and Cuba. All the topics of the 
talks dealt with Cuban cooperation with Grenada and cooperation efforts of 
the Grenadian delegation in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, whose results 
had fully pleased him, as well as other international issues. 

On Friday, October 7, Fidel accompanied Bishop on a tour of important 
facilities under construction in Cienfuegos, and showed him the progress in 
our development projects and the excellent attitude of our workers, with 
whom they both talked at length. 

A few days later— on Wednesday, October 1 2— our Embassy in Grenada 
reported the shocking and distressing news that deep divisions had taken 
place within the Central Committee of the Party in Grenada. That same 
morning. Bishop himself informed the Embassy of the long-standing differ- 
ences that were being discussed and of the attempts at settling them, but that 
he had never imagined how serious they would become during his absence. 
He simply stated the differences, but did not ask for any opinion or assistance 
from us in trying to resolve them, once again evidencing his great respect for 
Cuba's international policy and the internal affairs of his own Party. 

In the afternoon, it was learned that Bishops opponents had gained a 
majority within the Central Committee of the Party, as well as in the political 
apparatus of the Army and the Security forces, and that Bishop had been 
removed from his position in the Party and placed under house arrest. 

As this was purely an internal problem, the Party and the Government of 
Cuba, notwithstanding our friendship with Bishop and our confidence in his 
integrity and ability as a leader, and strictly abiding by the principle and 
norms of Cuba's international policy, instructed our representatives in 
Grenada to refrain totally from interfering in the internal affairs of the Party 
and of Grenada. 

In the days that followed, news of the positions and arguments of the two 
parties involved in the conflict kept pouring in through our Embassy. In our 
view, it was actually a matter of conflicting personalities and conceptions on 
leadership methods— not exempt from other subjective factors — rather than 
substantial conflicts. 

On Saturday, October 15, comrade Fidel sent a message to the Central 
Committee of the New Jewel Movement, clearly stating the position of 
Cuba, guided by the principle of fully refraining from interfering in the 
internal affairs of the Party and of the nation. At the same time, he expressed 
his deep concern over the division that had emerged, which might consider- 
ably damage the image of the Grenadian revolutionary process both domes- 
tically and abroad; that in Cuba itself, where Bishop enjoyed high esteem, it 
would not be easy to explain the events, and that he hoped that the difficulties 
could be overcome with utmost wisdom, serenity, loyalty to principles 
and generosity. 

Cuba's concern was essentially focused on preventing events from reach- 
ing a state of violent and bloody confrontation. 

In that message, it was also stated that Cuba's cooperation would be 
continued as a commitment with the people of Grenada, regardless of any 

changes that might take place in the leadership of the Party and in the 
country, since this was a purely internal matter. 

For a few more days, the situation remained at a standstill. At times, it 
seemed that an honorable, intelligent and peaceful solution would be 
reached. It was evident that the people backed Bishop and demanded 
his presence. 

The Western press fabricated all sorts of speculations around the events. 
We did not utter a word, in order to avoid our public pronouncements from 
being misrepresented as interference in the internal affairs of Grenada, due to 
the very close, wide-ranging, and fraternal relations with that sister nation. In 
so doing, we had rigorously abided by our principles of respect for the 
internal affairs of fraternal parties and countries 

Yesterday morning, October 19, the news reported that the workers had 
gone on strike and that the poeple had taken to the streets in support of 
Bishop. In a mass demonstration, they reached his residence, where they 
released him from house arrest. It is claimed— reports are still inaccurate— 
that the people took over a military installation. The Army sent troops to 
that area. It is said that the Army fired on the demonstrators and inflicted 
casualties to them; that it recaptured the installation and arrested many 
people. There was no news about the fate of Bishop and the other leaders that 
were with him. 

The tragic outcome was learned in the afternoon. An official commu- 
nique reported the death of Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister; Unison 
Whiteman. M inister of Foreign Affairs; Jacqueline Creft, M inister of Educa- 
tion; Vincent Noel, First Deputy Chairman of the Grenada Trade Union 
Congress; Norris Bain, Minister of Housing; and Fitzroy Bain, Secretary 
General of the Agricultural Workers Union. It has not yet been accurately 
determined how Bishop and the other leaders died. 

Bishop was one of the political leaders who enjoyed greatest esteem and 
respect on the part of our people due to his talent, modesty, sincerity, 
revolutionary honesty and proven friendship for our country. He also com- 
manded great international prestige. The news of his death shocked our 
Party leadership and we pay heart-felt tribute to his memory. 

Unfortunately, the divisions between the Grenadian revolutionaries have 
ended up in this bloody tragedy. 

No doctrine, principle or position proclaimed as revolutionary nor any 
internal division can justify such brutal procedures as the physical elimination 
of Bishop and of the prominent group of honest and worthy leaders who 
died yesterday. 

The death of Bishop and his comrades must be clarified; and had they 
been executed in cold blood, those responsible for it deserve exemplary 

Imperialism will now try to profit from this tragedy and from the serious 
mistakes made by the Grenadian revolutionaries, in order to stamp out the 
revolutionary process in Grenada, and once again subject that nation to 
imperialist and neo-colonial domination. 

The situation is extremely difficult and complex. Only a miracle of 
common sense, equanimity and wisdom on the part of Grenadian revolu- 
tionaries, and of serenity in the reactions and actions of the international 
progressive movement may yet save the process. 

No step should be taken that may help further the designs of 

In Grenada, there are many Cuban doctors, teachers, technicians in 
various fields, and hundreds of construction workers giving their assistance 
to the people in the provision of basic services and in the development of 
vital works for Grenadian economy. 

Though deeply embittered by these events, we shall not hasten to take 
any steps regarding technical and economic cooperation, which may jeo- 
pardize the basic services and vital economic interests of the people of 
Grenada, whom we sincerely and deeply admire and love. 

After yesterday's tragic outcome, we shall closely follow the course of 
events; we shall strictly abide by the principle of non-interference in the 
internal affairs of Grenada and shall, above all, take into account the 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 21 

interest of the Grenadian people concerning economic and technical coop- 
eration, were it possible in the new situation, but our political relations 
with the new Grenadian leadership must be subjected to a serious and 
profound analysis. 

However, if the Grenadian revolutionary process is preserved, we shall 
do our best to assist it. 

Let us hope that these painful events will lead all the revolutionaries of 
Grenada and of the world to profound reflection, and that the concept that 
no crime can be committed in the name of revolution and liberty 
will prevail. 

October 20, 1983 


The painful internal developments in Grenada that brought about the 
death of comrade Bishop and other Grenadian leaders, are well known by 
all the people. 

In its statement of October 20. the Cuban Government explained in 
detail the unfolding of events and stated our country's unequivocal and 
honorable position regarding these developments while cautioning that 
imperialism would try to derive utmost benefit from this tragedy. 

But. above all, it stressed the rigorous policy of Cuba of totally refrain- 
ing from any form of intervention in the internal affairs of the Grenadian 
Party and people. 

The merits of such a policy of principles can be noted now more than 
ever, since it has become evident that the Cuban personnel in Grenada had 
the combat capability with which they could have attempted to influence 
the course of internal events. The weapons in the hands of the Cuban 
construction personnel and cooperation workers in Grenada had been 
given to them by Bishop and the Grenadian Party and Government leader- 
ship so that they could defend themselves in the event of a foreign aggression 
against Grenada, as has unfortunately been the case. These were mainly 
light infantry weapons. Our own personnel kept custody over those wea- 
pons in their living quarters. They were not meant to be used in any 
domestic conflict and they were never, and will never be used for those ends. 
Neither had any type of fortification work been undertaken since it was 
illogical to do so in times of peace, at the site of a purely civilian airport. 
And another thing: When the invasion of Grenada took place, the weapons 
in Cuban hands had less than one ammunition module per rifle. 

After Bishop's death and Cuba's statements, relations between our 
Party and the new Grenadian leadership were very cold and somewhat 
strained. But under no circumstances were we willing to play into the hands 
of imperialism, foresaking the Grenadian people by stopping our coopera- 
tion and halting the work of our construction crews, doctors, teachers and 
other specialists. We did not even immediately recall our military and 
security advisors. 

Future relations with the new leadership would be determined by its 
conduct, its domestic and foreign policy, and by the hope that the revolu- 
tionary process could be saved, even though this appeared to be possible 
only through a miracle of wisdom and serenity on the part of the Grenadians 
themselves and of the international progressive movement. 

Relations with the new Government were yet to bedefined. But notwith- 
standing the aforementioned reasons regarding our cooperation with the 
people of Grenada, from the moment the news of a powerful U.S. naval 
force advancing on Grenada was made public it became morally impossible 
to consider the evacuation of Cuban personnel in that country. 

On the other hand, the new Grenadian leadership, faced with the immi- 
nent danger of an invasion and invoking their homeland's security, request- 
ed our cooperation, an appeal to which it was not easy to accede in view of 
the events that had taken place in that country. 

Numerous messages regarding these matters were exchanged between 
Cuba and our representatives in Grenada, who conveyed the 
Grenadian requests. 

Due to the imminence of the aggression, during the afternoon of Satur- 
day, October 22. comrade Fidel sent the following message* to the Cuban 
representatives in Grenada: 

"I believe that organizing our personnel's immediate evacuation at a 

time when U.S. warships are approaching might be highly demoralizing 

and dishonorable for our country in the eyes of the world 

public opinion. 

"A large-scale Yankee aggression against us can take place at any 
moment in Grenada against our cooperation workers; in Nicaragua 
against our doctors, teachers, technicians, construction workers, etc.; in 
Angola against our troops, civilian personnel and others, or even in 

Cuba itself. We must always be ready and keep our morale high in the 
face of these painful possibilities. 

"I understand how bitter it is for you, as well as for us here, to risk 
compatriots in Grenada, after the gross mistakes the Grenadian Partj 
has made and the tragic developments to which they gave rise. But our 
position has been unequivocally and honorably clarified, so much so 
that it has been received with great respect everywhere. It is not the new 
Grenadian Government we must think of now, but of Cuba, its honor, 
its people, its fighting morale. 

"I believe that in the face of this new situation, we must strengthen 
our defenses, keeping in mind the possibility of a surprise attack by the 
Yankees. The existing danger fully justifies our doing so. If the United 
States intervenes, we must vigorously defend ourselves as if we were in 
Cuba, in our camp sites, in our work places close by, but only if we are 
directly attacked. I repeat: only if we are directly attacked. We would 
thus be defending ourselves, not the Government or its deeds. If the 
Yankees land on the runway section near the University or on its 
surroundings to evacuate their citizens, fully refrain from interfering. 

"Advisors from the Armv and the Ministry of the lnteriorare to stay 
in their posts^awaiting new orders, so as to receive information and tr\ lo 
exert as much positive influence as possible on the behav ior of the Army 
and the Security forces towards the people. 

"The Viet Sam Heroico vessel is to be kept there by all means, and 
efforts should be made to put children and people who are not essential 
to indispensable services and work there on the first plane that lands on 
the island. 

"Convey to Austin and Layne the following oral reply to 
their proposals: 

"That our force, essentially made up of civilian cooperation workers, 
is too small to be considered as a significant military factor vis-a-vis a 
large-scale U.S. invasion. 

"That sending reinforcements is impossible and unthinkable. 

"That the political situation created inside the country due to the 
people's estrangement on account of the death of Bishop and other 
leaders, isolation from the outside world, etc. considerably weaken the 
country's defense capabilities, a logical consequence derived from the 
serious errors made by Grenadian revolutionaries. That due to the above 
situation, the present military and political conditions are the worst for 
organizing a firm and efficient resistance against the invaders, an action 
which is practically impossible without the people's participation. That 
they have to find a way to reach a reconciliation with the people, perhaps 
one way would be to clarify the death of Bishop and the other leaders 
and seek out those responsible. 

"That the Grenadian Government may try to prevent affording a 
pretext for intervention by publicly offering and reiterating total guar- 
antees and facilities for the security and evacuation of U.S., English and 
other nationals. 

"That if, however, the invasion were to take place anyway, it is their 
duty to die fighting, no matter how difficult and disadvantageous the 
circumstances may be. 

"That the Cuban personnel have been instructed to remain in their 
camps and to continue the works of the airport. That they are to adopt 
defensive measures and fortify their positions as much as possible in 
order to be prepared in case of a surprise foreign aggression. That you 
are to be in constant communication with our Party's leadership, and 
should an imperialist attack take place, you will receive instructions 
regarding what you should do. 

"That, in these circumstances, they should keep utmost equanimity 
and restraint, if they wish to preserve the Grenadian revolutionary 
process' opportunity to survive. 

"That Cuba will do its best to promote, together with all progressive 
countries, a strong campaign to counter the U.S. threats against 

At 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, we sent the following message to 
the Government of the United States through its Interests Section: 

"That the U.S. side is aware of the developments in Grenada; that it 
is also aware of our position on these developmentsand of ourdetermi- 
nation of not interfering in the internal affairs of that country. That we 
are aware of their concern about the numerous U.S. residents there. 
That we are also concerned about the hundreds of Cuban cooperation 
personnel working there in different fields and about the news that U.S. 
naval forces are approaching Grenada. 

"That according to the reports we have, no U.S. or foreign nationals, 
nor our personnel has had any problems. It is convenient to keep in 
touch on this matter, so as to contribute to solve favorably any difficulty 
that may arise or action that may be taken relating to the security of 
these indiviudals, without violence or intervention in the country." 
Once the agreements adopted by a group of Yankee satellites in the 
Caribbean area to dispatch troops to Grenada became known, the new 

22 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

leadership in that country renewed its requests for the sending of reinforce- 
ments by Cuba. On Sunday, October 23, comrade Fidel sent the following 
message to the Cuban representatives in Grenada: 

"Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Barbados have no forces to invade 
Grenada. If this were to occur, it is a mere pretext by the Yankees for 
their immediate intervention afterwards. In this case you should strictly 
abide by the instructions received yesterday. 

"Convey the following answer orally to the Grenadian leadership: 
"That Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Barbados have no forces to invade 
Grenada, and in that case they should defeat them with their own forces 
without greater difficulties. 

"That behind this intervention, were it actually to take place, there 
might be a pretext for the Yankees to act directly; in that case, the 
Grenadian revolutionaries should try to win over the people for the 
defense of the country, be ready to fight until the very last man and 
create conditions for a protracted resistance to the invasion and 
foreign occupation. 

"That Cuba cannot send reinforcements not only because it is mater- 
ially impossible in the face of the overwhelming U.S. air and naval 
superiority in the area, but also because politically, if this were to be 
merely a struggle among Caribbeans, it should not do so in order not to 
justify U.S. intervention. 

"That, on the other hand, the unfortunate developments in Grenada 
render the useless sacrifice entailed by the dispatching of such reinforce- 
ments in a struggle against the United States morally impossible before 
our people and the world. 

"That, as a matter of our country's honor, morality and dignity we 
will keep the Cuban personnel there at a time when powerful Yankee 
naval forces are approaching Grenada. 

"That, if Grenada is invaded by the United States, the Cuban per- 
sonnel will defend their positions in their camps and working areas with 
all their energy and courage. 

"That, due to the limited number of those forces, it is impossible to 
assign them any other mission. 

"That Grenadian revolutionaries themselves are the only ones 
responsible for the creation of this disadvantageous and difficult situa- 
tion for the revolutionary process politically and militarily. 

"That within the difficult conditions created, the Cuban personnel in 
Grenada, shall honorably meet the duties our revolution has assigned to 
them under these circumstances. 

"That, as regards military advising, they will receive all possible 
cooperation in the face of the situation. 

"That it is necessary to continue making adequate political and 
diplomatic efforts on their part to prevent the intervention without 
compromising on any principles or backing down. That, on our part, we 
will do our best in this connection." 

The Grenadian side continued to insist on plans that in ourjudgment, 
were, in some respects, unrealistic and politically unsound. They even 
hoped to sign a formal agreement on what each side should do in the 
military field, and intended to subordinate the Cuban construction and 
cooperation workers to the Grenadian army. On Monday, October 24, the 
following principal points were conveyed to the Grenadian leadership: 
"That the Cuban personnel will defend their positions, that is, the 
runway up to the Hardy Bay filling and the area between Point Salines 
and Morne Rouge, in case of a large-scale U.S. invasion. 

"That, in the present conditions, our personnel have neither the 
means nor forces to undertake any other mission, nor the moral and 
international justification to do so in areas outside their work site. 

"It is clear to us that were it just a question of evacuating foreign 
personnel, there would be no invasion, and presumably under those 
circumstances they would find a solution with the parties concerned. 
That, due to this, the American University and its premises should be 
under the custody of Grenadians if they deem it necessary and conven- 
ient (the U.S. University is located at one end of the runway under 
construction by the Cubans). Perhaps it would be better if that area were 
free of military personnel so that it would not be regarded as a battle 
ground which could justify armed actions by imperialism under the 
pretext of evacuating its citizens. 

"That there is no need for any formal agreement between us. 
"That the instructions regarding what the Cuban personnel is to do 
in case of war can only be issued by the Government of Cuba." 
This message, which should have been delivered at 8 o'clock in the 
morning, Tuesday the 25th, did not even reach the hands of its addressees. 
The intervention of the United States in Grenada occurred at the break 
of day. 

The Cuban representatives and personnel strictly followed the instruc- 
tions of the Party and Government of Cuba: to fight if they were attacked in 
their camps and work areas. 

During the early hours of the day, while U.S. troops were landing with 
helicopters in the University area, there combat at all with the 
Cubans, who had taken strictly defensive positions in the above mentioned 
sites. Around 8:00 a.m. local time (7 a.m. Cuban time), U.S. troops ad- 
vanced from different directions on the Cuban facilities, and the fighting 

At 8:30 (Cuban time) on the 25th— almost three days later— the Gov- 
ernment of the United States replied with the following note to the Cuban 
message sent on Saturday the 22nd: 

"The United States of America Interests Section of the Embassy of 
Switzerland presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Rela- 
tions of the Republic of Cuba and has the honorto inform the Ministry 
that the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, acting out of the 
grave concern of its members for the anarchy, bloodshed, and callous 
disregard for human life of the Island of Grenada, has asked the United 
States Government to facilitate armed forces of its member states in the 
restoration of security in Grenada. In response to the request, and 
taking into due account the need to safeguard the lives of several 
hundred United States citizens now in Grenada, the United States 
Government has agreed to this request. 

"Consequently, armed forces from the member states of the Organi- 
zation of Eastern Caribbean States, supported by those of the United 
States, Barbados and Jamaica have entered Grenada for the purpose of 
restoring order and public safety. 

"The United States Government is aware that military and civilian 
personnel of the Republic of Cuba are present in Grenada. It has taken 
into full account the message on this subject which was delivered on the 
night of October 22 from the Ministry of Foreign Relations to the 
Acting Chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana. It wishes 
to assure the Government of the Republic of Cuba that all efforts are 
being and will continue to be made to ensure the safety of these persons 
while order is being restored. These personnel will be granted safe 
passage from Grenada as soon as conditions permit. The Government of 
the United States agrees to the Cuban proposal of October 22 to 
maintain contact concerning the safety of the personnel of each side. 
The appropriate civilian representatives with the United States Armed 
Forces presently in Grenada have been instructed to be in contact with 
the Cuban Ambassador in Grenada to ensure that every consideration is 
given to the safety of Cuban personnel on the Island and to facilitate the 
necessary steps by Grenadian authorities for their prompt evacuation. 
The United States Armed Forces will be prepared to assure this evacua- 
tion at the earliest possible moment on ships of third countries. Alterna- 
tively, should there be a vessel of the Cuban merchant marine— not a 
war ship— in Grenadian waters at present that vessel may be authorized 
to conduct the evacuation of Cuban personnel. 

"In addition, any Cuban views communicated to the Department of 
State through the Cuban Interests Section in Washington or through 
the United States Interests Section in Havana will be given immediate 

"The Government of the United States calls upon the Government of 
the Republic of Cuba, in the interest of the personal safety of all 
concerned, to advise its citizens and forces in Grenada to remain calm 
and to cooperate fully with the forces of the Organization of Eastern 
Caribbean States and with those of the United States, Jamaica and 
Barbados. It asks that they be instructed to avoid any steps which might 
exacerbate the delicate situation in Grenada. Above all, the Government 
of the United States cautions the Government of the Republic of Cuba 
to refrain from sending any new military unit or personnel to Grenada. 

"The United States of America Interests Section of the Embassy of 
Switzerland avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of 
Foreign Relations of the Republic of Cuba the assurances of its highest 
and most distinguished consideration." 

When this note from the Government of the United States arrived, one 
and a half hours had elapsed since troops from that country started their 
attack on Cuban personnel and three hours since they had begun the 

Throughout the whole day today, Tuesday 25, the Cuban people have 
been informed in as much detail as possible, on the development of the 
fighting and the resolute and heroic resistance of Cuban construction and 
cooperation workers, who practically had not even had time to dig trenches 
or to fortify their positions in the rocky terrain, in the face of the sea, air and 
ground attacks by U.S. elite troops. 

The people are familiar with the contents of the message exchanged 
between the Commander in Chief and Colonel Tortolo , who is in 
command of the Cuban personnel. This chief, who had not yet been in that 
country for 24 hours and who was on a work visit, with his actions and 
words has written a chapter in ourcontemporary history worthy of Antonio 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 23 

At 5 p.m. in the evening, while intense fighting was taking place, the 
Government of the United States, through Mr. Ferch, head of the Interests 
Section, sent the following message to Cuba: 

"The Cuban personnel stationed in Grenada is not a target for the 
actions by U.S. troops. 

"The United States is ready to cooperate with Cuban authorities in 
the evacuation of Cuban personnel to Cuba. 

"The United States is aware that armed Cuban personnel do not 
have either the weapons or the ammunition stocks needed for a 
protracted action, thus maintaining a belligerent position would entail a 
useless loss of human life. 

"The United States does not wish to present the departure of Cuban 
armed personnel as a surrender. 

"Lastly it regrets the armed clashes between men from both 
countries, and considers that they have occurred due to confusion and 
accidents brought about by our men's proximity to the area of 
operations of the multinational troops." 

At 8:30 p.m., the following reply was handed over to Mr. Ferch to be 
conveyed to the Government of the United States: 

" 1 . That we did our best to prevent the intervention, and that in our 
note dated Saturday we explained that, according to our reports, no 
U.S. or foreign citizen was in danger, while at the same time we 
expressed our readiness to cooperate so that the problems could be 
resolved without violence or intervention. 

"2. That the intervention is totally unjustifiable. That we had 
absolutely refrained from meddling in the country's internal affairs, 
despite our friendship with and sympathies for Bishop. 

"3. That the answer to our constructive note delivered on Saturday 
22, at 9 p.m., arrived on Tuesday 25, at 8:30 a.m.. when our personnel 
and installations at the airport had been under attack by U.S. troops for 
one and a half hours. 

"4. That we have no soldiers, but actually construction workers and 
ci\ llian advisors in Grenada, with the exception of a few tens of military 
advisors who were working with the army and the security forces before 
Bishop's death. Our personnel had been instructed to fight back only if 
attacked, and they were not the first to shoot. Furthermore, they had 
been given instructions not to obstruct any action for the evacuation of 
US citizens in the area of the runway near the U.S. University. It was 
evident that if any attempt was made to occupy Cuban installations, 
they would clash with them. 

"5. That our personnel has suffered an indeterminate number of 
casualties in today's combats. 

"6. That the attack by U.S. troops came as a surprise, without any 
previous warning. 

"7. That although the Cuban personnel that is still in a position to 
resist stands at an absolute numerical, technical and military disadvan- 
tage, their morale remains high and they are firmly ready to continue 
defending themselves, were the attacks to continue. 

"8. That if there is a real intention to forestall further bloodshed, 
attacks against the Cuban and Grenadian personnel who are still fight- 
ing should stop and an honorable way should be sought to put an end to 
a battle that far from honors the United States; a battle against small 
forces that, though unable to resist the overwhelming military super- 
iority of the U.S. forces, even when losing the battle and sacrificing 
themselves, could still inflict a costly moral defeat on the United 
States— the most powerful country in the world, engaged in a war 
against one of the tiniest countries on Earth. 

"9. That the head of the Cuban personnel in Grenada has been 
instructed to receive any parleyer that might approach him, listen to his 
views and convey them to Cuba. 

"10. It cannot be ignored that some Grenadian units are also fight- 
ing, and that the treatment given to the Cubans should not differ from 
the one they are to receive." 

During this evening the Cuban construction and cooperation personnel 
'were still holding some of their positions in an uneven and difficult struggle 
but with high morale and steadfastness. Later into the night there was little 
news forthcoming from Grenada and communications were becoming 

The courageous and heroic Cuban construction and cooperation per- 
sonnel have written an unforgettable chapter in the annals of international 
solidarity; but in a larger sense, in Grenada they have been waging a battle 
for the small countries of the world and for all the peoples of the Third 
World in the face of a brutal imperialist aggression. They have also fought 
for the American continent and for their own homeland as if there, in 
Grenada, they were in the first line of defense of the sovereignty and 
integrity of Cuba. 

Grenada may become for Yankee imperialists in Latin America and the 
Caribbean what the Moncada garrison meant to the Batista tyranny 
in Cuba. 

Eternal glory to the Cubans who have fallen and to those who have 
fought and are still fighting to defend their honor, their principles, their 
internationalist work, their homeland, and their own personal lives threat- 
ened by the unjustified, treacherous and criminal imperialist attack. 

Patria o Muerte. 


Cuba. October 25. 1983 


From the early days of the Grenadian Revolution, 
Maurice Bishop warned that the Americans would 
invade — with mercenaries or with troops. This was 
dismissed in the western media as typical socialist 
paranoia. In fact, after Bishop's June meeting with 
then National Security Adviser William P. Clark, he 
told reporters that he hoped the timing of an invasion 
had been "pushed back. ,, But, he insisted, "We do not 
think the threat has been entirely removed." 

If Clark was at all reassuring, his influence was 
clearly minimal. It may have been uncomfortable for 
him later to sit in on the meetings of the "Special 
Situation Group" of the National Security Council, 
chaired by Vice President and former CIA Director 
George Bush, and to listen to the warmongering of 
Shultz, Bush, and Casey. Clark finally — a few days 
before the invasion of Grenada — accepted another 
Cabinet post, letting friends know that he was tired of 
fighting with Shultz. 

Rather remarkably, even after the invasion, U.S. 
officials were suggesting that Grenadian fears had been 
paranoid. One such Pentagon official, having reviewed 
some of the captured documents, told reporters: 

If you're predisposed to see a Soviet and Cuban 
threat, then you can find evidence of a significant 
military buildup in Grenada and carry it one step 
further to see the makings of a Soviet-Cuban 
puppet state. On the other hand, if you bring a 
different bias to the agreements [between 
Grenada, Cuba, and the Soviet Union], it's 
possible to argue that a paranoid, Marxist 
leadership was rushing to improve its armed 
forces for fear that Grenada might be invaded 

That this official could label such a fear paranoid 
two weeks after the invasion is incredible. His 
boundless disingenuousness was evident in his further 

It might not be convincing, but the Russians 
could take the United States military assistance 
program in El Salvador or Honduras and by just 
presenting the raw number of guns and ammuni- 
tion make the propaganda argument that the 
United States is turning those countries into a 
military bastion. 

Really! • 

24 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Nicaragua Braces for War 

By Ellen Ray and Bill Schaap 

The Sandinista government of Nicaragua recently 
instituted sweeping changes in foreign and domestic policy 
and offered significant proposals to ease tensions in the 
region. All this occurred in the face of serious U.S. threats of 
an invasion, an event which most observers agree is not a 
question of whether, but of when. 

In the past six months, the U.S. has set the stage for such a 
military move by its activities in Central America and by the 
invasion of Grenada. And having tasted blood in Grenada, 
the Pentagon may be thirsting for another battle. There is 
terrible irony in a recent remark by the former chief of the 
U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Wayne Smith, that 
"Central America now exercises the same influence on 
American foreign policy as the full moon does on 

The Nicaraguans have made substantial moves to better 
relations with the Roman Catholic hierarchy; they have 
offered amnesty to thousands of exiled Miskito Indians, and 
to all but top Somocista leaders and those who have led the 
counterrevolutionary bands, and have released hundreds of 
others from jail. They have proposed far-reaching regional 
peace treaties; they have relaxed wartime censorship of 
newspapers, and announced preliminary election time 
schedules. Yet such moves, in virtually every area where the 
U.S. has voiced criticisms, have not slowed the evident U.S. 
buildup toward an invasion. 

One of the first stages in that buildup was the sending of 
5.000 American troops to Honduras in the Big Pine 2 
military exercises— open-ended maneuvers all along the 
border with Nicaragua. These troops have both provided 
logistical support for the Honduran armed forces and the 
CIA-supported contras and participated directly in actions 
against Nicaragua, while helping their hosts attempt to 
exterminate their own revolutionary opponents. A second 
stage involved the revival of Condeca, the Central American 
Defense Council, described in detail below. 

With U.S. and regional troops primed throughout Central 
America, a number of alternative scenarios are possible. As 
we go to press, any one of them might take place. On the one 
hand, the contras might lead an invasion, with direct 
Honduran and U.S. military support. On the other hand, the 
Hondurans, within the Condeca framework, might lead an 
attack against Nicaragua, with U.S. and other allied 
support. And, finally, there is the possibility that events 
might lead to direct U.S. leadership of the invasion. In each 
circumstance, though, it is clear that massive U.S. 
involvement will become necessary at some point, for 
neither the contras nor the Condeca forces could defeat the 

There are two other variables to be considered. With any 
plan there is the possibility that events might require a prior 
military move in El Salvador, a concerted move by the 
Condeca forces to try to defeat the FMLN, who are 
consolidating their victories in province after province. The 
Salvadoran regime's position becomes more precarious 
every day. Further, each possibility is subject to the 
strictures of the U.S. presidential election campaign. They 
will probably occur either before the campaign is in full 
swing, or after the election, but not very likely during the 
height of the campaign itself. However, if — as some sources 
say— Reagan is reluctant to run again, he might well be less 
hesitant to start a war which would surely continue well 
beyond the campaign and the election. 

The Scenarios 

A contra invasion probably would entail a beachhead on 
the Atlantic Coast and the creation of a "provisional 
government"— which would rapidly receive U.S. recognition 
and support. There are enough contra bases in Zelaya Norte, 
albeit temporary and constantly on the move, that it could 
be made to appear that a portion of the population 
welcomed the invasion. As in Grenada, many opponents of 
such a move would be silent through fear. 

Then Condeca forces could be rushed in to defend such a 
provisional government, a move already approved in the 
second "new" Condeca meeting held in Tegucigalpa on 
October 23 and 24. U.S. troops, under cover of Big Pine 2, 
would provide support and direction, and intervene if 
necessary. All of the contra groups have been invited to be a 
part of such a provisional government, and their greater 
unity has been urged by U.S. officials, including special 
envoy Richard Stone, who met with contra leaders in 
Panama in December. Even coy Eden Pastora seems primed 
for this move. After some intricate maneuvering, during 
which he claimed that his partner, Alfonso Robelo, was 
trying to kill him, they traveled together to the U.S. to raise 
funds and gather support. Pastora disingenuously denounced 
the U.S. invasion of Grenada, counseled unconvincingly 
against invasion of Nicaragua, but was nevertheless hooted 
and jeered at most campus appearances. 

The possibility remains very real that Condeca forces 
might lead an invasion of Nicaragua in their own right, and 
not under cover of supporting the contras. Honduras 
especially has been extraordinarily provocative in its 
rhetoric, and there are rumblings within Condeca. An 
indication of the depth and seriousness of the planning is 
clear in the sacking of Panamanian Vice President Jorge 
Illueca. The National Guard forced his ouster for his harsh 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 25 

criticism of Condeca, when he denounced the alliance as a 
creation of Anastasio Somoza and said that Panama was 
"not in Condeca playing the game against Nicaragua." His 
abrupt dismissal suggests that he may not be entirely correct, 
and maneuvers leading to a joint action against Nicaragua, 
perhaps over some trumped-up incident or provocation, 
may be already in progress. 

It is least likely that the U.S. would simply invade 
Nicaragua, a la Grenada. This is partly for reasons of 
garnering international support and partly because the U.S. 
might recognize it could not do it alone. Even with allied 
support, though, it is clear that the war, which is inevitable, 
will be long, bloody, and very costly. It is unlikely that the 
U.S. wants to bear the brunt of such a conflict alone. With 
this pessimistic but starkly realistic preface, we review the 
incidents of the past several months. 

The Deepening U.S. Involvement 

Starting in the beginning of September, the Reagan 
administration's war against Nicaragua moved to a new 
stage. There was an upsurge in all forms of activity, from the 
level of propaganda to the level of direct U.S. involvement in 
the attacks. Larger, bolder, and more sophisticated 
operations were launched, by air, land, and sea, and, 
according to CBS, U.S. military personnel took part in some 
of the raids, driving the speedboats used to attack the 
petroleum depot at Puerto Corinto in mid-October. 

The controlling hand of the CIA has been openly revealed, 
as one by one the administration's phoney rationales are 
exposed. Reagan's people never really believed there was a 
massive flow of arms from Nicaragua to the FMLN in El 
Salvador; they were just desperate to overthrow the 
Sandinistas. Unfortunately, public opinion in the United 
States is divided, partly because of the propaganda and 
partly because people have become inured to covert 
intervention as a result of clever media manipulation by the 
likes of Time and Newsweek. Long-standing concepts of 
international law and of morality have been stood on their 
heads. It is one thing for a Neanderthal-like Ernest W. 
Lefever to argue that "deceptive, deadly covert actions are 
moral:" it is another thing for the Washington Post to give 
him half a page to make the argument. 

Over a year ago stories abounded describing the $19 
million allocated to secret paramilitary operations against 
Nicaragua. Most critics, including CAIB, asserted that this 
figure represented only the tip of the iceberg and recently 
revealed figures bear this out. According to Philip Taubman 
of the New York Times, more than $50 million was spent in 
each of the past two fiscal years, and $80 million has been 
requested for the current fiscal year. In fact, because the 
Nicaraguan operations have "stretched — some would say 
overextended — the agency's capabilities," more than 400 
recently retired covert action specialists have been rehired by 
the CIA. The Nicaragua operation, according to Taubman's 

Petroleum fires rage out of control in Puerto Corinto after CIA and 
contra rocket attack, causing evacuation of 40,000. 

26 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

sources, "is expected to become the largest paramilitary 
effort mounted by the CIA since the Vietnam War." 

The numbers of people involved are hard to estimate. 
There may be 10,000 contras in the north and 2,000 in the 
south, all supported by the U.S. And there are so many U.S. 
troops in Honduras that a Carnegie Endowment expert was 
quoted by Newsweek saying, "It looks pretty grim. We're 
turning Honduras into a military base." 

The technology is also impressive. Sophisticated artillery 
equipment is getting to the contras. and the support logistics, 
provided directly by the U.S., include massive transport jets, 
radar installations, underwater demolition equipment, and 
the like. 

The Shift in Strategy 

In early September the emphasis of contra actions 
noticeably shifted, from hit and run attacks on border 
villages to coordinated attacks on strategic economic 
objectives linked to the infrastructure of the country. 
Airports, oil depots, pipelines, factories, warehouses— 
these became the major targets, accounting for losses to 
Nicaragua of more than $380 million. The shift, according 
to the New York Times* "was the result of a decision, 
reached by the CIA over the summer, that attacks directly 
against industrial and transportation targets inside 
Nicaragua would be a quicker and more effective way of 
hurting the Sandinistas than previous efforts." (October 16, 
1983.) Captured contras have confirmed that CIA officers 
are directing the attacks from bases in Honduras; and many 
reports have confirmed that, despite Costa Rican "neu- 
trality." attacks from the south also involve CIA support 
and direction. 

For some time the contras in the south, Eden Pastoral 
Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE), denied any 
connection with the Somocista-led Nicaraguan Democratic 
Force (FDN) in the north. But in late September, within 
hours of an attack on an oil terminal at Puerto Sandino, for 
which ARDE took credit, FDN spokesmen in Honduras 
were briefing journalists on the raid, stating that they were 
informed in advance of Pastora's actions. 

Pastora and the CIA 

More to the point. Pastorals pious denials of any 
connection with the CIA have been totally discredited. Even 
United States officials describe to journalists the assistance 
funneled to Pastora. Time magazine recently reported that 
some of the aid has been channeled to Pastora through Israel, 
some through El Salvador. Further evidence of CIA 
assistance to Pastora can be seen by the discovery, in Costa 
Rica, that Miami-based Cuban exiles — the CIA's long-time 
hit men— have been recruited to join Pastora's group. When 
17 gusanos were ordered to leave Costa Rica, the U.S. 
Ambassador complained, telling reporters that the Costa 
Rican government was being "overzealous." 

While on the one hand some ARDE officials deny CIA 
assistance, others complain to the media that they are not 
getting enough money from the CIA. One official com- 
plained to the London Times reporter in San Jose 
(September 14, 1983) that ARDE was competing with FDN 
for the CIA's money and not getting it "to the extent we'd be 
happy with." 

But the most compelling research on the CIA-Pastora 
connection was done by Jeff Gerth of the New York Times 
(October 6, 1983). On September 8, a Cessna plane crashed 

CIA frogman gear— bubbleless air recycler. 

after attacking Managua's international airport in a raid for 
which Pastora took credit. Four Weeks later Gerth reported 
on the results of his attempt to track down the ownership 
and history of that plane. He learned that until shortly 
before the raid the plane was registered to the Investair 
Leasing Corporation of McLean, Virginia. That company is 
managed by Edgar L. Mitchell, who until 1975 had worked 
for Intermountain Aviation, Inc., which was identified in the 
Church Committee reports as a CIA proprietary. The 
marketing director of Investair is Mark L. Peterson, and, as 
Gerth carefully phrased it, "a Mark L. Peterson was 
secretary and treasurer of Air America, Inc., a CIA 
proprietary involved in air cargo operations." Papers found 
on the pilot of the plane after it was downed even included 
instructions for making clandestine contact with U.S. 
Embassy personnel in San Jose. Gerth later learned that the 
plane was maintained by Summit Aviation, Inc., a company 
which was established in 1960 and known to have done 
contract work for the CIA. (New York Times* November 
8, 1983.) 

The Specifics of a Coordinated Plan 

The convenient cover for the plan, coordinated among the 
CIA, the contras* and the Honduran armed forces, was the 
joint U.S. -Honduras military exercise, Big Pine 2 (or Ahuas 
Tara 2, in M iskito). The exercises began in early August and 
are still continuing; as a U.S. official told the New York 

Times recently, "There's no end in sight " The scope of 

the exercises is vast; radar installations have been built, new 
airfields have been constructed and old ones enlarged, port 
facilities have been extended. The joint task force com- 
mander called the exercises "a marvelous opportunity for 
U.S. forces." During Big Pine 2, in late August and 
throughout September, another exercise, Readex 2, brought 
NATO and Atlantic Fleet ships into the Caribbean, under 
thecommand of Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf III, who went 
on to lead the invasion of Grenada. 

The difficulty for observers, of course, is the inability to 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 27 

distinguish between exercises and the real thing. Most of the 
activities against Nicaragua appear subsumed within the 
joint exercise activities. For example, a major part of Big 
Pine 2 involves amphibious actions, landings, frogmen 
training, and the like. The commencement of all this marine 
training was followed by a spate of amphibious attacks 
against Nicaragua, including the mining of port facilities and 
hit and run naval attacks. A Newsweek reporter saw "fifteen 
frogmen loaded down with diving tanks, tubes and flippers" 
in downtown Tegucigalpa (September 5, 1983). And 
sophisticated frogman gear was captured by the Nicaraguans 
in several clashes with contras, including extremely unusual 
gear which allowed for the recyling of air so that no bubbles 
would be released to float up to the surface and which 
enabled divers to remain underwater for more than eight 
hours without giving any signs of their presence. 

At the same time that Big Pine 2 was turning Honduras 
into a gigantic U.S. military base— much of which was for 
the sole purpose of working with the contras in attacking 
economic targets in Nicaragua— reports emerged that El 
Salvador was also playing a role in the "secret" war. The 
story first broke in the London Times ( September 14, 1983), 
confirming that the air attacks of early September had been 
launched from El Salvador, where the planes, based in Costa 
Rica, were modified for bombing runs. After the raids, the 
surviving aircraft returned to Costa Rica, allowing the Costa 
Rican government to state carefully that the planes did not 
take off from Costa Rica for the bombing raids. Eden 
Pastora, who took credit for the raids, said that the bombs 
had been supplied not by the United States, but by El 
Salvador. But the London Times learned that the CIA and 
Israel were funneling arms and munitions for Pastora 
through El Salvador. (Pastora also claimed that the plane 
had been given to him by El Salvador, although the New 
York Times learned, as noted above, that it was a CIA 


The most significant development relating to the roles of 
El Salvador and Honduras in the war against Nicaragua has 
been the revival of Condeca, the Central American Defense 
Council. Condeca was founded in 1963, a military alliance 
between Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, 
and the United States. Panama and Costa Rica had observer 
status. (A high Panamanian official has recently said that 
Panama joined in 1974.) The alliance was fostered by the 
U.S. to deal with the then young guerrilla movements in 
Nicaragua and Guatemala. But Condeca fell apart in 1969 
when El Salvador and Honduras fought the so-called 
"football war." 

However, by June 1983 the U.S. was encouraging the 
revival of Condeca, without Nicaragua. And in August 1983, 
when General Rios Montt was ousted in Guatemala, the 
time was considered ripe for a formal reconstitution of the 
alliance, which took place at a secret meeting in Guatemala 
on October 1 . In light of the role played by the Organization 
of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in the master plan to 
topple the government of Grenada, the new role of Condeca 
bears careful scrutiny. One stumbling block is being dealt 
with now; the charter speaks of aggression against a Central 
American country from outside Central America. So, as an 
insider told one of Jack Anderson's reporters, the members 
will have to "rework the language." Honduran military 
officers are already saying that Condeca has been revived 

because of perceived threats from Nicaragua. 

The danger to Nicaragua was real even before events in 
Grenada demonstrated how willing the U.S. was to 
intervene militarily. Honduran officials constantly speak of 
the need for the overthrow of the Sandinista government, 
and U.S. military and political figures have voiced similar 
opinions. The U.S. representative to Condeca, General 
Paul F. Gorman, recently promoted to four stars, wonders 
whether diplomatic efforts have been exhausted, and says 
that "all the signs- point to a military road." (Los Angeles 
Times, October 5, 1983.) And Under Secretary of Defense 
Fred C. Ikle has also spoken to Congress of the need for 

The contra leaders stress the analogy between OECS and 
Grenada on the one hand, and Condeca and Nicaragua on 
the other. FDN officials told journalists they hoped that the 
Sandinista leadership would also split into factions, 
allowing a Grenada-type intervention. 


All of the disinformation campaigns directed against 
Nicaragua during the last few years have moved into high 
gear. These include an attempt to perpetuate the myth that 
the contras have widespread support within Nicaragua, 
something which any on-the-scene observer knows is not 
true. The Voice of America reports are singularly insub- 
stantial. Feelings against the government are commonplace, 
it is reported, because the correspondent has been so 
informed by "a taxi driver." Similar reports pass for news in 
the major media. 

The campaign to suggest that the Sandinistas are guilty ot 
genocide against the Miskito Indians continues unabated; 
false report after false report of massacres are spread, with 
total casualty figures greater than the entire number of 
Miskitos in the world. 

There is also a major campaign being waged to suggest 
that Costa Rica is scrupulously neutral, and is extremely 
angry about the use of its territory by contras. Yet, as is well 
known, Pastora and Robelo and the ARDE maintain public 
offices in San Jose and reporters from around the world 
interview ARDE people not only in San Jose but near the 
border as well. President Monge has been forced by his own 
domestic opponents to be a bit more neutral, and reluctantly 
turned down an offer by the U.S. Army to provide 1,000 
"engineers for road and bridge repairs" because of public 
opposition. This offer was seen as an attempt by the U.S. to 
launch a counterinsurgency operation from Costa Rica. 

The Attacks 

More than disinformation, of course, the direct attacks 
are serious problems for the Nicaraguans. The list of only the 
major assaults is long: 

• On September 8 a light plane bombed Managua's 
airport, causing one death, several woundings, and extensive 
damage. The pilot and navigator were also killed when the 
plane was shot down. Another small plane simultaneously 
raided a residential section of Managua, dropping bombs 
near the home of Foreign Minister Miguel D'Escoto. ARDE 
claimed credit for both raids. 

• The same day, offshore oil loading facilities at Puerto 
Sandino were bombed. The facilities were 60 feet under 
water, 300 feet off shore, indicating the likely placement of 
explosives by a frogman team, which might have occurred 
some time prior to the detonation. The FDN claimed credit. 

28 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

• The next day, September 9, an unsuccessful air attack 
was made against the oil storage depot at Puerto Corinto, on 
the Pacific coast about 60 miles further north than Puerto 
Sandino, which is about 30 miles northwest of Managua. 
The planes retreated from anti-aircraft fire and headed for 
Costa Rica, suggesting another ARDE action. 

• The same day an attacking plane was shot down near 
the Sandinista army base at Cibalsa, on the west shore of 
Lake Nicaragua, just a few miles north of the border with 
Costa Rica. 

• On September 25 there was a major assault on the 
provincial capital of Ocotal near the Honduran border. 
FDN radio broadcasts announced that they had taken the 

Sandinista Militia fights off contra attack. 
Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

town, although in fact they never entered the town proper. 
After nearly two days of fighting they were repulsed. During 
the fighting the Rio Coco bridge which serves as a main link 
for Ocotal with the rest of the country was bombed, as it had 
been six months earlier. 

• On September 27 FDN raiders attacked a Sandinista 
customs post at El Espino on the Honduran border, killing 
six government soldiers. Twenty contras were killed in the 
attack, which was apparently intended, if successful, to 
launch another attack on nearby Ocotal. 

• The following day, September 28, ARDE raiders 
attacked a southern border post at Penas Blancas, creating a 
serious diplomatic dispute between Costa Rica and 
Nicaragua about who fired across whose territory. Even the 
Costa Rican papers, while whipping up war fever admitted 
that the rebels had come from Costa Rica. 

• On October 3, ARDE contras in speedboats attacked 
the fuel depot at the Atlantic coast port of Benjamin 
Zeladon, more than 100 miles up the coast from Costa Rica. 

• The same day an FDN DC3 airplane was shot down by 
the Sandinistas near Matagalpa, and the pilot and copilot 
captured. These two later provided details to the govern- 
ment, and to international journalists, of their CIA training 
in Honduras. They confirmed that all of the FDN plans and 
attacks were coordinated and directed by American CIA 
officers, a number of whom they identified. This and all the 
other downed aircraft have been linked to the U.S., through 
various CIA proprietaries. 

• Before midnight, October 10, CIA men and contras in 
speedboats launched a successful rocket attack against the 
oil tanks at Puerto Corinto. It took two days to extinguish 
the fires, during which time more than 25,000 people had to 
be evacuated from the city because of the extreme danger of 
an explosion. Their callousness can be seen in the attack 
which, had more volatile petroleum products been hit, could 
have caused thousands of innocent deaths. (While the fires 
were raging, Henry Kissinger and the President's National 
Bipartisan Commission on Central America was meeting in 
San Jose, Costa Rica with Alfonso Robelo of the ARDE. 
Kissinger had previously said the Commission would not be 
meeting with contras: after the Robelo meeting he said he 
was not going to meet with combatants, but that Robelo was 
a political leader, not a fighter.) 

• On October 14, the underwater facilities at Puerto 
Sandino were again bombed, the fifth attack on oil 
installations in five weeks. The Exxon Corporation 
announced almost immediately that it would no longer 
allow its ships to be used to transport the Mexican crude oil 
to Nicaragua, which accounts for more than 75% of 
Nicaragua's petroleum needs. (As this attack took place. 
Assistant Secretary of State Langhorne Motley was winding 
up a two-day visit to Managua, discussing possibilities of 
reducing tensions between the U.S. and Nicaragua — 
something the constant sabotage was hardly likely to 

• October 1 8 saw a massacre more vicious than any of the 
previous contra raids, all of which were bloody and 
heartless. The small village of Pantasma was attacked by a 
band of over 250, slaughtering 47 people, including six 
teachers and most of the workers on two area agricultural 
cooperatives. The townspeople fought heroically for ten 
hours until soldiers reached the remote mountain village and 
drove off the contras. As one shocked villager said, "What 
they did here has no name." 

CovertAction 29 

Four Nicaraguan youngsters run for their lives from Honduran 
mortar attack near border. 

• Various fishing boats, agricultural and border commun- 
ities, and ordinary Nicaraguans are daily attacked by the 
com r as. 

Congress and the Contras 1 Contempt 

While the orders of the CIA to step up the scope and 
viciousness of the attacks were carried out, the U.S. 
Congress debated a proposal to provide another $80 million 
"covert" aid to the contras. The House of Representatives 
voted against it and the Senate voted for it, creating a 
funding controversy resolved by a conference committee 
which authorized $24 million, but no more, without further 
congressional approval, ostensibly taking away the CIA's 
power to commit unallocated funds to the operation. 

But what is clear is that neither the President nor the CIA 
nor the contras care very much what the Congress does or 
does not do. The rebel leaders brag that their funds will not 
be cut off even if Congress refuses more, and they surely 
know what they are talking about. "Arrangements" have 
been made, one contra leader said, for the laundering of aid 
through Israel. Furthermore, President Reagan has defended 
the use of covert operations such as those against Nicaragua 
even if the Congress and the American people are left 
uninformed, if he believes the country's "best interests are 


The reality facing the United States was discussed by 
Commander Tomas Borge, Nicaraguan Minister of the 
Interior, in a recent interview: 

It is difficult to occupy a country where the people are 
armed. . . . We are technically prepared to take on the 
Honduran Army, and even all Central American 

armies together In other words, the prospects for a 

military victory over Nicaragua are nil. . . . So, should 
an intervention come, national territorial sectors be 
occupied, and a puppet government installed, inter- 
national politics will force the United States to leave 
that puppet government alone, providing it only with 
arms and funds. What then? Could that puppet 
government survive daily confrontations with people 
who have tasted power and have arms in hand? 

Borge made it clear, however, that his government wanted 
peace, not war. He intended to come to the United States to 
speak out on these issues, but President Reagan personally 
refused him a visa. As the Nicaraguan Embassy noted, "he 
was coming to speak of peace at a moment in which any war 
in the world could lead to a nuclear confrontation." This, 
sadly, frighteningly, does not deter Ronald Reagan. • 

30 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

Fort Huachuca Buildup: 

War Technology in the Desert 

The following is part of a report circulated by a veteran 
who served in intelligence in Vietnam. The implications of 
this information for Central America are substantial. Such 
double-checking as CAI B has been able to do indicates that 
the material here is accurate, and well worth publication. 

Located in a sparsely populated area of Southeast Ari- 
zona, adjacent to the City of Sierra Vista, is Fort Huachuca, 
which dates back to the days of the Indian Wars. Today, no 
cavalry soldiers ride out to fight Cochise, for Huachuca has 
become the home of the Army Communications Command 
Test Facilities and the Army Intelligence School and Center, 
and until recently, the most active organization on post, the 
Electronic Proving Ground. If the United States military 
were preparing to go into El Salvador or anywhere else in 
Central America, this would be the first place things would 
start to happen, because this is where the military would 
work on correcting the mistakes made in Vietnam. 

Things have been happening at Fort Huachuca for the last 
decade, but at an eyebrow-raising rate for the last year. Late 
last summer Major General Grumbacher was replaced by 
Major General McKnight as Post Commander. Until then, 
the numerous commands operated separately, with the Post 
Commander responsible for housekeeping only. McKnight 
has assumed overall command of the various functions car- 
ried on at Huachuca. Brigadier General Riley of the 7th 
Signal Corps of Fort Richie, Maryland, which controls 
communications for the United States, Puerto Rico, and 
Panama, has switched places with Brigadier General Myers 
of Fort Huachuca Army Communications Command head- 
quarters. Colonel William R. Harnagle, who served two 
tours in Vietnam and was former director of Combat Devel- 
opments Fort Gordon has assumed command of the U. S. 
Army Electronic Proving Ground. All operations placed 
under one commander; an officer experienced in Vietnam 
taking over the proving ground; and an officer knowledge- 
able in U. S. Army communications in Central America; are 
significant developments. 

The civilian hiring freeze imposed by President Reagan 
was lifted last September for Fort Huachuca. This was to 
allow the hiring of more office workers, maintenance per- 
sonnel, etc. Even though the people being hired appear to be 
redundant for present needs, civil service employees in areas 
which have been essential to the basic mission of Huachuca 
are now being laid off. The primary missions of Fort Hua- 
chuca have been training military personnel in intelligence 
activities, test and report on intelligence procedures, and test 
electronics and communications equipment. The end result 
of all this effort was the production of training and repair 
manuals and the graduation of students. This has changed. 

The intelligence school is graduating fewer students than 
in the past, and taking much longer to do it. One local 
resident who has dealt with students for years stated, "There 

is something different about this batch. They are not the 
same as the others in the past years." 

The intelligence school is hiring no new people. Now all 
vacancies are being filled with personnel who are already 
employed by the school. If a position in the school becomes 
vacant, an employee is given on-the-job training to teach 
that subject. Someone from the outside who may have years 
of experience is not hired. The intelligence school wants no 
new people inside. 

The civil service technical writers who have been the 
backbone of the Huachuca mission for years are being laid 
off. The individual in charge of the personnel department 
who handles the technical writing staff says this is because 
the military is contracting more of the work to civilian 
companies. There are a number of private firms which do 
technical writing on a contract basis. Among them are Ken- 
tron, C.A. Parshell, BDM, and Man Tech. Except for Man 
Tech all of these firms are about to close shop and leave 
town. They say, "TRADOC (Training and Doctrine 
Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia) has frozen all funds. " 

The Army is saying they are contracting out their work. 
The contractors say they have no work, except for one 
contract to write a manual on ground sensors, those devices 
first utilized in Vietnam to detect guerrilla movement. Man 
Tech has three unspecified contracts. It is rather curious 
that all the teaching, testing, and research done at this large 
facility can be summarized by such a small number of tech- 
nical writers, compared to the past. 

When the Army was hiring civil service tech writers, a 
Department of Defense Directive from the Intelligence 
Research Industrial Directorate forbade the hiring of per- 
sonnel who had served as Military Intelligence Specialists or 
Military Intelligence Analysts. In other words, people who 
had been trained and experienced in the analysis and inter- 
pretation of intelligence were not wanted. This seems strange 
until you know that the title of another training manual 
written was Guerrilla Infiltration Techniques. Manuals on 
guerrilla infiltration techniques and ground sensors would 
tell anyone experienced in analyzing intelligence that the 
military was not getting ready to stop the Russians at the 
Berlin Wall. 

All the contractors except for Man Tech are experiencing 
hard times. Man Tech in the last year has gone from three 
offices in town and on base to five, and claims to have only 
thirty-four employees for these five offices. Man Tech has no 
interest in tech writers, but is looking for personnel who 
have tactical experience in interrogation, image interpreta- 
tion, intelligence analysis, counterintelligence, and intelli- 
gence collection. They want people who do it, not write it. 
The contracts call for some personnel to go overseas. They 
particularly want people experienced in high tech electronics 

Is Man Tech recruiting for the Army? One thing learned in 
Vietnam was that intelligence organizations had to be in 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 31 

place and functioning when the troops landed. At present 
the Army is restricted to fifty-five military advisers in El 
Salvador. Through the manipulation of their own funds, 
they could be planning, or have already sent an advance 
intelligence team of civilians rather than military personnel. 
It would be almost impossible for Congress to detect such a 
movement, as there would be no financial or military records 
to indicate it. Where do these people go, and for what? 

In Vietnam attempts were made to train Vietnamese in 
intelligence procedures. The results were not highly success- 
ful often because the local military selected the candidates. 
The solution would be to choose and select those people you 
wanted to train, rather than allowing the various militaries 
of Central America to do the choosing for you. 

U. S. Border Patrolmen don't know why higher-ups single 
out refugees from Central American countries, in particular 
El Salvador, who during interrogation reveal that they are 
intelligent and educated. Before they are sent to Tucson, a 
notation of this fact is made on the documentation that 
accompanies them. Is the Army or CIA recruiting people to 
return to Central America as intelligence agents? If a man 
was told his family could stay and would be taken care of, he 
certainly might agree to cooperate. 

The only thing known for sure is that the Army has 
formed a Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, 
North Carolina. This new branch includes the Special 
Forces, which has increased from twenty-five hundred to 
fifty-five hundred persons in the last few years. Special For- 
ces (commonly called Green Berets) personnel are trained to 
fight insurgents, not to make secret rescue missions 
into Iran. 

In a guerrilla war, you often have a particular group of 
people, or a village, who feel no allegiance to their govern- 
ment or the rebels. Special Forces teams of up to fifteen go 
to these people and give them everything from medical aid to 
military training. The training of this team is quite varied. 
The medics can do simple operations such as appendec- 
tomies, and the weapons experts can teach the villagers how 
to make explosives out of chicken droppings. Once the 
quality of life has been improved, and the men trained and 
armed, part of the team will stay behind to lead them. The 
area surrounding these people becomes hostile to guerrilla 
forces operating in the region. Needless to say, government 
forces show these people much more respect. Generally they 
just leave them alone. 

Also, individual soldiers of the Special Forces who dem- 
onstrate outstanding combat leadership are loaned to the 
CIA to command small bands of mercenaries. 

For some years, small numbers of Special Forces person- 
nel, never more than sixty, have come to Huachuca sup- 
posedly for training in the desert and mountain terrain. Why 
Huachuca is picked for desert training is unclear, since the 
Army has many more suitable areas. It is suspected they 
come here for training with sophisticated equipment rather 
than because of the terrain. This year there are a substan- 
tially larger number than usual, and unlike the past, no one is 
allowed near them. 

For an installation its size, at present not much appears to 
be happening at Fort Huachuca. Few vehicles pass up and 
down its many roads. Many buildings are under-used, if at 
all; yet, construction is going on at a feverish rate. The 
Enlisted Men's Club and the Officers' Club, also under- 
utilized, have been expanded and improved far beyond any 
present need. The Field House or gymnasium has been 

modernized, improved, and expanded. Large and small 
buildings are being built, and numerous old ones being 
remodeled. The one area that needs expansion and im- 
provement, married personnel housing, is being totally 
ignored. This doesn't make sense unless one recalls that only 
a volunteer army is a married army. In times of war, when 
you fill the ranks with drafted personnel, the military doesn't 
have to worry about reenlistment rates, can freeze pay scales 
(which Reagan has done), and can tell the draftee his family, 
if he has one, is his problem. Arizona Senator DeConcini has 
stated that less additional personnel are now at Huachuca 
than in the past. Then what are the buildings for? 

One building the Army is happy to tell everyone about is 
the Electro-Magnetic Facility. This forty-one thousand 
square foot building is to be used by the military and private 
contractors to test the efforts of magnetic fields on commun- 
ication and electronics equipment. The bids for this building 
were put out with great publicity. Bids for another building, 
supposedly concerned with satellites, were put out very 
quietly and the contractors were forced to give hurried bids 
on this seven thousand [square] foot building. The contract 
was put out through TRW Corporation, located in McLean, 
Virginia, and calls for a building framework covered by a 
non-metallic skin. Undoubtedly the bids came through 
TRW rather than the Army directly because the local 
contractors are not to know what is going into that building. 
This building is to be completed by June. Also to be 
completed by June is a base for a Western Union Satellite 
Receiving Station pointed 167 degrees, true, south. Taking 
into consideration that the actual antenna can be varied a 
few degrees, it still means it is pointing at the western coast of 
Central America. 

The Electronic Proving Ground at Huachuca is testing a 
mobile computer and communications system called the 
Maneuver Control System. Combat commanders ridicule 
this system as something a businessman might use to keep 
track of stock on hand, but next to useless in a war. "Two 
thousand yards on a computer screen is one thing, but to 
have to actually travel that distance is another. Unsuspected 
enemy fire, or terrain, might force the foot soldier to have to 
circle around, causing him to travel ten thousand yards." 

Combat intelligence officers are not ridiculing the system, 
because with it they will be able to send and receive accurate 
information, up-to-the-minute information, over great dis- 
tances, via satellite. This system receives, relays, transfers, 
stores, processes, retrieves, and prints out data. It has a 
processor, a flexible disc drive and magnetic bubble. The 
Army says the bubble is a new magnetic medium used in 
mass data storage because in the event of a power failure, the 
memory is not lost. They also say it provides memory pro- 
cessing faster than current chip memory. Commonly known 
technology says that the magnetic bubble ( which is not new) 
does not lose its memory in the event of a power loss, but that 
it definitely provides memory processing at a much slower 
rate than current chip memory. 

When this contradiction was presented to an individual 
who studied both computer science and physics at a presti- 
gious university, he said, "It is possible. It would have to be 
some sort of hybrid computer, with an ultra-sensitive 
magnetic bubble. Chips would have to be used to boost its 
speed, but regular chips might create too much radiation for 
this new bubble. Most probably they would use compli- 
mentary metal oxide semi-conductors, but they are extreme- 
ly sensitive to static electricity." 

32 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

If a large home base, or sort of master computer, were 
located where these mobile computers could feed and re- 
trieve data via satellite transmission, it would be tactical in 
nature and of the same basic design so memory wouldn't be 
lost in the event of power failure. It would have to be housed 
in a non-metallic building if located in Southeast Arizona, 
where electrical storms are common. Is it mere coincidence 
that such a building shell, and a communications satellite 
receiver base pointed toward El Salvador are both to be 
completed by June? 

This system solves part of the problem for our intelligence 
failure in Vietnam. Now information can be transmitted 
instantly to a center where it can be not only analyzed by 
men, but by computer at the speed of light. Also, remember 
the mobile computers are referred to as tactical systems. 
Interrogation reports, agent reports, patrol reports, and cop- 
ies of enemy documents can be sent to Huachuca for analy- 
sis. Also Huachuca is perfectly located. It is far enough 
beyond the horizon that Cuban technicians could not inter- 
cept or interfere with any transmissions. 

We still have the problem of interpreting aerial photo- 
graphs and the fact that guerrillas move at night. For years 
Fort Huachuca has been conducting exercises with its Mo- 
hawk surveillance aircraft using infra-red film. The sensitiv- 
ity of these cameras is such that they can take a picture of a 
building from the air and tell you if more heat is escaping 
from a window than a door. This can be explained as routine 
development and testing of equipment. What can't be ex- 
plained is why Huachuca needed a silver recovery process to 
collect the valuable metal left over from the development of 
extremely large amounts of film. To test their equipment, 
they had to bring film from all over the state. That kind of 
system, which is presently used by only a few civilian firms 
which process massive amounts of film, would only r^e 
needed if they planned to develop and analyze all the film 
used in the actual fighting of a war, not for routine testing 
and teaching. 

As for interpreting what is on that film, it can now be done 
by computer. A German, Rudolph Hell, has invented a 
machine called the Hell Chromacom. The Chromacom does 
for images what word processors do for words. Using a laser 
it can turn a square inch of photograph into 360,000 bytes of 
computer storage space. Control Data Corporation at Gree- 
ly Hall, Fort Huachuca has computers that can process 100 
million machine instructions per second. In other words, a 
computer could analyze and interpret in one second what 
would take men days. Parts of El Salvador could be photo- 
graphed often and if the slightest change had occurred, 
military intelligence would know about it. Of course, mas- 
sive amounts of film would be used. 

The last stages of the Vietnam War saw the introduction 
of sensing devices that could detect enemy movement. These 
devices were imperfect, but have been worked on through 
the years. Ground-sensors are now used by the U. S. Border 
Patrol to detect the crossing of illegal aliens. They use them 
in series so they can tell the direction the object is traveling, 
but even rabbits can cause a poorly placed detector to sound 
a false alarm. In recent years a new security system has been 
developed. It sends out a high frequency sound wave, like 
sonar, that bounces back. When coupled to a small compu- 
ter it can memorize everything that is in front of it, and 
ignore it. Only when an unmemorized object is placed in its 
field of detection will it take notice. This system, which is 
now used in office buildings, is being expanded not only to 

detect, but also to identify an object, when coupled with a 
complex computer program. Recently a company known as 
Ultra Systems moved into Sierra Vista as a contractor work- 
ing for Fort Huachuca. The electrical requirements for their 
building included outlets for a number of computers, and 
other equipment. Among other things, Ultra Systems works 
with high frequency sound equipment. 

The single largest contract is for a new runway to be built 
at Libby Airfield, located at Fort Huachuca. For a long time 
there has been talk of improving the facilities. In November 
1 98 1 , Libby was selected as the site for auxiliary training for 
Arizona Air Guard and Air Force A-lOs, A-7s and F-4s. 
When the improvements were approved recently, the speci- 
fications had been expanded to a 12,000-foot runway with a 
1,000-foot overrun. Confirmed reports state this runway is 
to be constructed of eight foot thick, steel reinforced con- 
crete. Even though a runway of this length is not needed for 
the proposed aircraft that are to use it, the extra length could 
be considered a safety factor. A runway of this extraordinary 
thickness is for a plane with a tremendous "foot print pres- 
sure," such as a 747 or C5A cargo plane. 

None of the reasons given for building this runway makes 
sense, even for the United States military. Since German 
NATO pilots are no longer being trained at Davis Montham 
Air Force Base in Tucson, and since four runways are closed 
down at Luke Air Force Base west of Phoenix, it doesn't 
seem reasonable to build a new one. This new runway is also 
to be used for civilian commercial traffic, but the present 
runways are quite adequate for those aircraft which fly 
people in and out of the area. Residents of the area 
apparently do not find it hard to believe that airlines would 
use an aircraft with three times the capacity of those used to 
serve Tucson, to serve Sierra Vista and the surrounding area, 
with one-tenth the population. The gullibility of Cochise 
County residents may be one reason why Huachuca was 

The airport is also supposed to be an emergency landing 
field. From the Phoenix area to the southern border there 
are eight runway complexes which have strips of eight 
thousand feet or longer. North of the Phoenix area, there are 
only two. Why put another one in the southern half of the 
state, and especially one that is almost two thousand feet 
higher in altitude than all the others, making it more 
dangerous to use in an emergency? 

The most interesting thing about this $20 million runway 
from an intelligence point of view is that it is less than twenty 
air miles from the border. In all of northwest Mexico, there 
is no radar. You could fly the Empire State Building across 
northwest Mexico and not a soul would know it. The air- 
space from Libby to the border is highly restricted and 
civilian aircraft are not allowed in many areas and above 
four thousand feet in the rest. People in the Pentagon who 
should know about the "expanded version," don't! All they 
know is that money is tight, and the rest of the military is 
hanging onto their purse strings with a death grip. 

A lot of new people are being seen around the city of 
Sierra Vista. Even though projected growth rates of the 
community are supposed to decline, the City's Planning 
Commission received urgent requests from Tucson Builders 
for permission to build six hundred and eighty-four new 
apartments. The permits were rushed through as the builders 
stated that half had to be finished by July. The Sierra Vista 
City Officials said in response to this, "These builders must 
know something we don't know!" # 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 33 

Washington's Proxy: 

Israeli Arms in Central America 

By Clarence Lusane* 

The war drums are beating in Central America and Israel 
is an important player. The State of Israel has emerged as a 
major, and in some cases, principal, supplier of arms, 
advisers and training to the repressive forces in the region. 
Long denounced for its military ties to South Africa, 
Chile, and the Philippines, the Zionist regime has ex- 
tended its role as surrogate for the U.S. to the front line of 
Central America. Although much of what is happening is 
held in strict secrecy, the vast extent of Israeli aid has begun 
to fray the cover under which Reagan administration policy 
objectives circumvent Congressional obstacles. 

As this article will show, stopping U.S. military aid to 
Central America also requires stopping U.S. military aid to 
Israel. The information presented only scratches the sur- 
face of what is probably the key link in U.S. foreign policy 
under the Reagan administration. By the end of the 1960s 
Israel had emerged as an arms exporter, but only since the 
Reagan administration has it been a*ble to reach its poten- 
tial as a full junior partner to U.S. imperialism. 

The Israeli Arms Industry 

Fourteen percent of Israel's industrial labor force is em- 
ployed in its arms industry. If the armed forces are in- 
cluded, the number rises to 25%. 

According to the latest CIA estimates, Israel is the fifth 
largest exporter of arms in the world. This is up from its 
seventh place ranking in 1980. Israel remains the largest 
supplier of arms to sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. 

In 1977, Israel's arms exports were valued at $285 mil- 
lion. Despite the loss of two reliable customers, Iran and 
Nicaragua, by 1981, military exports had risen to $1.3 

The battle-tested efficiency of Israeli weapons is well 
known. The Israeli-built Uzi submachine gun, for instance, 
is revered among arms merchants. Carried by U.S. Secret 
Service personnel and bodyguards of oil millionaires, it is 
the shining star of Israeli weaponry. It is the choice of 
NATO and is used in at least 43 countries, including virtu- 
ally all the nations of Latin America. 

Equally reliable Israeli military hardware includes 
Arava STOL (short takeoff and landing) transport air- 
craft, Shafrir and Gabriel missiles, Galil assault rifles, Kfir 
fighter jets, Merkava tanks, and various electronic and 
computer equipment. Israel is also a major source of train- 
ing in intelligence and counterinsurgency techniques. 

♦Clarence Lusane is a free-lance writer in Oakland, California, formerly a 
member of the CAIB staff. The sidebars for this article were all written by 
Dana Reed, a free-lancer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Since 1970, Israel's military budget has consumed more 
than 30% of its national budget. Limited domestic use has 
made the export of arms essential to its economic survival. 
Latin American money has become indispensable to the 
Israeli arms industry. As we shall see, war torn Central 
America has become a goldmine for Israeli arms sales. 

It must be pointed out that Israel's goals are political as 
well as economic. Stability of the current and international 
political order is a chief objective of Israeli foreign and 
military policy. In country after country, we can observe 
how Israeli arms sales meet these twin aims. 


The bodies were still warm after the Israeli-sanctioned 
massacres at Sabra and Shatila when then Israeli Defense 
Minister Ariel Sharon and the Air Force Chief arrived in 
Honduras. In his 38-hour visit, Sharon and the Hondurans 
agreed that Israel would send Honduras 12 Kfir planes, 
radar equipment, light weapons and spare parts and 50 
advisers. Military training was also proposed. Incidentally, 
upon leaving Honduras, Sharon flew to the U.S. AFP, the 
French News Agency, observed the deal "could intensify 
the danger of unleashing an arms race in the region." 

Less than six months later, the New York Times report- 
ed on its front page that Israel was sending weapons to 
Honduras. These included artillery pieces, mortar rounds, 
mines, hand grenades, and ammunition. Much, if not all, 
of these arms were to go to U.S. -backed counterrevolu- 
tionaries seeking to overthrow the Nicaraguan government 
from bases in Honduras. 

It was also reported that the Honduran Armed Forces 
Commander, Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, visited a CIA 
training facility in Virginia earlier this year to examine 
captured PLO weapons. Israel has stated that it would 
provide captured weapons to any Central American 
military government for only the cost of transporting them. 

According to knowledgeable sources in Tegucigalpa and 
Washington, General Alvarez is the major Honduran 
official giving orders to the contras. Despite denials by 
Honduras that it is involved with the counterrevolutionary 
forces, spokesmen for the Nicaraguan Democratic Force 
continue to complain of the bad advice they receive from 
the Hondurans. 

In the period of 1970-1980, Honduras received the fol- 
lowing weapons from Israel: 12 Dassault Super Mystere 
fighters; 4 Arava (STOL) transports; 1 Westwind recon- 
naissance plane; 14 RBY Mk armored cars; 5 fast patrol 
boats (unconfirmed); 106-mm mortars; and 106-mm rifles. 

The estimated $25 million in weapons promised to Hon- 
duras by Sharon is a continuation of past practice. How- 

34 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

ever, Honduras is now playing a new role in Central Amer- 
ica, similar to the one Israel plays in the Middle East. It has 
become strategically important to U.S. interests and goals 
in the region. As a rear base for the contras attacking 
Nicaragua, and as a training ground for Guatemalan and 
Salvadoran fascists, Honduras must be armed. Deter- 
mined not to be inhibited by congressional or public opin- 
ion, the Reagan administration has given the Israelis the 
go-ahead in Honduras. In addition to aid from the U.S. 
and Israel, Honduras has received military aid from Argen- 
tina and Chile, allowing it to increase its armed forces 
six-fold since 1970 (from 5,000 to over 30,000). The Hon- 
duran Air Force is the most powerful in Central America. 

U.S. offiicals have admitted that Israeli assistance is 
important in achieving Reagan administration military 

/ \ 

Two thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine Latin 
Americans have been trained in Israel, mostly in "short 
courses," including police and military training. 

V J 

and political goals. Worried about potential congressional 
locks on aid to the Nicaraguan contras, the administration 
wants to be sure supply lines are not disturbed. U.S. mili- 
tary aid to Honduras will go toward buying weapons from 
Israel which have themselves been produced with U.S. 
military aid. 

By its own account, the U.S. has at least 300 military 
advisers, technicians, and engineers in Honduras. The U.S. 
is spending $20 million to construct a modern airport at 
Comayagua to accommodate U.S. t*oop transports. 
Another four airstrips are being expanded to handle mil- 
itary jets. Future plans include the installation of new radar 
and electronic surveillance posts, the positioning of large 
stocks of military equipment, and the initial phases of 
construction of a planned $150 million air and naval base 
on the Atlantic coast. 

It is the goal of the U.S., with the critical assistance of 
Israel, to make Honduras the chief gendarme of Central 
America. The second poorest nation in the region (behind 
Haiti) will continue to buy arms from Israel at the expense 
of its own people. Like its neighbors in El Salvador and 
Guatemala, Honduras increasingly violates the human 
rights of its citizens with the helping hand of Israel. There is 
one central objective in the U.S. -Honduras-Israel connec- 
tion. If the conditions ripen to where U.S. policy makers 
launch an all-out invasion of Nicaragua, it will duplicate 
the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, except that it will be 
launched from Honduran soil. 

El Salvador 

From his first days in office, Ronald Reagan pledged to 
draw the line against communism in El Salvador. The 
murderous and corrupt Salvadoran junta, a politically split 
U.S. Congress, and the superior fighting capacities of the 
FMLN guerrillas have turned out to be difficult obstacles. 
He sleeps well, however, knowing that any hesitation by 
the U.S. Congress to send military aid finds a willing 
substitute in Israeli aid. 

An example of this backdoor approach occurred in 1 98 1 
when the Administration was scrambling to find more aid 
to send El Salvador. Israel agreed to "lend" the U.S. $21 
million to give to El Salvador, money which came from 

previous U.S. aid to Israel. In other words, the U.S. cyni- 
cally took out a loan on its original funds, thereby violating 
the expressed will of Congress. 

The U.S. has only recently become a major supplier of 
military aid to El Salvador. Through all of the 1970s, Israel 
was the biggest seller of weapons and aircraft to the coun- 
try. The North American Congress on Latin America 
(NACLA) reports the following sales of military hardware 
to El Salvador: 17 Arava (STOL) transports; 6 Fouga 
Magister trainers; 18 Dassault Ouragarrfrghters; 200 80- 
mm rocket launchers; 200 9-mm Uzi submachine guns; am- 
munition; and spare parts. 

This arsenal made up more than 80% of El Salvador's 
military imports during the period. It has been supple- 
mented by an estimated 100 Israeli advisers (almost twice 
the official number the U.S. claims to have). These advis- 
ers, like their U.S. counterparts, are training the Salvado- 
ran military in counterinsurgency strategy and tactics at a 
secret base near Tegucigalpa. 

In addition, Israeli pilots are believed to be flying Israeli- 
made aircraft against the guerrillas. El Salvador has the 
infamous distinction of being the first Latin country to 
receive these advanced combat fighters. The Gouga Magis- 
ters and Dassault Ouragans are actually outmoded French 
planes which have been overhauled by Israel Aircraft In- 
dustries Ltd. (IAI). They were fitted with motors manufac- 
tured by the U.S. company, Pratt & Whitney. 

Israel has also set up advanced computer systems to 
gather and analyze intelligence about the citizenry. Similar 
to the Israeli-installed computers in Guatemala, the net- 
work in El Salvador also monitors changes in water and 
electricity consumption. 

The popular struggle to cut off aid to El Salvador has 
won some limited victories. The Reagan administration 
must now certify every six months that the Salvadoran 
government is improving its human rights record and aid 
has been partially cut. While certification has routinely 
been granted each time, the imposition is not welcomed by 
the Reagan administration. 

Even these slight gains, however, are made negligible by 
the capacity and willingness of the Israelis to help fill the 
shoes of the U.S. All Israeli aid to El Salvador comes from 
American military and economic aid to Israel. It has been 
noted that some of the most vocal congressional critics of 
Reagan policy objectives in El Salvador are also unques- 
tioning supporters of aid to Israel. 

Thus far denied by elected officials and ignored by many 
progressive activists, the fact is that to cut off U.S. aid to El 
Salvador also requires cutting or limiting aid to Israel. 

Somoza's Nicaragua 

Until the very end, Israeli arms poured into Somoza's 
Nicaragua. After the cold-blooded killing of journalists by 
Somoza's National Guard in 1978, President Carter cut off 
all U.S. aid to Nicaragua. Israel, bolstered by U.S. aid to it, 
picked up the slack and until July 2, 1979, just two weeks 
before the Sandinistas won the final battle, provided 98% 
of Somoza's arms. According to NACLA, Israeli weapons 
to Somoza in the decade preceding his fall included: 2 
Arava (STOL) transports; Galil assault rifles; ammunition; 
patrol boats; and radios. 

When questioned about selling arms to Somoza, Israeli 
Prime Minister Menachem Begin responded, "We have* a 
debt of gratitude with Somoza." In 1948, the U.N. General 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 35 

Assembly recommended the partition of Palestine and the 
creation of a Jewish state. The new State of Israel needed 
weapons and had almost nowhere to turn. Israel struck a 
deal with Somoza. Somoza appointed Yehuda Arazi as a 

r \ 

"Galil rifles sold by Israel to the regime of Anastasio 
Somoza in mid-1978 were sent directly to a special 
terror unit commanded by Somoza's son, which 
carried out the murder of political opponents, among 
them women and children. n Davar, November 13, 

^ ) 

Nicaraguan Ambassador to Europe where he could pur- 
chase weapons in the name of Nicaragua. Eventually, all 
the weapons ended up in Israel. All of this was accom- 
plished for a mere $200,000. Arazi, it turned out, was a 
member of the Jewish underground's clandestine army 
organization, Haganah. 


The U.S. is not the primary supplier of arms to Guate- 
mala. Since 1976, Israel has been the main provider of 
weapons, aircraft, and training to Guatemala. In fact, be- 
tween 1977 and 1981, after the U.S. cut off aid due to gross 
human rights violations, Israel was the only nation giving 
military aid to the regime. 

Weaponry to Guatemala has included: 10 RBY Mk 
armored cars; 15,000 5.56-mm Galil assault rifles; and 4 
field kitchens. Since 1976, Guatemala has bought at least 
1 1 Arava aircraft, designed for short takeoff and landing. It 
has been reported that Israelis have been acting as pilots 
and maintenance technicians for these planes. 

Training of Guatemalan military strongmen by Israel 
has included education in the use of terror and interroga- 
tion techniques, modern intelligence methods and psycho- 
logical warfare. Israeli advisers are the key link in Guate- 
malan counterinsurgency operations. From national plan- 
ning to civilian rural cooperative programs to military 
maneuvers, Israel is centrally involved. 

Israel's connection with the right-wing and repressive 
forces of Guatemala are hardly secret. Israeli advisers have 
trained many of the officers of Guatemala's police intelli- 
gence (G-2). In reference to the guerrillas fighting the ever- 
changing military juntas which have come to power, the 
right wing openly calls for the "Palestinianization" of the 
rebelling Mayan Indians. 

As with Somoza, Guatemala's relationship to the Zionist 
state goes back to 1948 when Israel was created. One of the 
three U.N. Commissioners overseeing the establishment of 
Israel was from Guatemala. Despite the numerous changes 
in power in Guatemala over the years, it has remained a 
consistent and staunch supporter of Israel. 

Today, Guatemala-Israel relations are better than ever. 
Extensive trade and economic agreements have been 
signed recently. Bilateral tourism contracts were signed in 
March 1982 with the expressed purpose of rebuilding 
Guatemala's lagging tourist industry. INGU AT, the Guate- 
malan tourist board, is advertising in the Jewish communi- 
ties of New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. 

First and foremost, however, Israel's relations with Gua- 
temala are military. Some of Israel's most advanced elec- 

tronic and computer technologies have been installed in 
Guatemala. Hit lists used by the death squads have been 
computerized. Technologically sophisticated murder is 
coordinated by a Regional Telecommunications Center 
(RTC) built and managed by Israeli Army experts. The 
RTC is also linked to the U.S. Army's Southern Command 
at Fort Gulick in the Panama Canal Zone. The RTC is run 
by the generals from the fourth floor of the National 
Palace Annex. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development has 
said that the RTC is Guatemala's principal presidential 
level security agency and works with a high level security 
network. Further, AID claims that it links the key officials 
of the National Police, Treasury Police, Detective Corps, 
Ministry of Government, the Presidential Palace, and the 
Military Communications Center. 

The Tel Aviv newspaper Haolam Hazeh and the London 
Guardian revealed in December 1982 that Israeli advisers 
work closely with Guatemala's G-2 police units in the use of 
interrogation and torture. In this activity, they work close- 
ly with Argentina and Chile, both of which have long track 
records in the art. 

Computerized death lists are a mainstay of government 
terror and inspired a "spy-on-thy-neighbor" campaign. By 
1980, computers already listed 80% of the Guatemalan 

In November 1981, the Israeli-sponsored Army Elec- 
tronics and Transmission School was opened in Guate- 
mala. At its opening, the Israeli Ambassador to Guatemala, 
Moshe Dayan [no relation to the former Defense Minister 
of the same name] said that the school was the first of its 
kind in Latin America. Its purpose is to teach computer 
and electronic monitoring of the Guatemalan people. 
Equipment at the school is capable of doing everything 
from checks on potential apartment renters to detecting 
changes in electricity consumption that supposedly might 
indicate that an illegal printing press is in operation. 
Should you be detected as a potentially subversive tenant 

r~ : \ 

The military governments of Latin America have 
found the kibbutz example favorable for the pacifi- 
cation of the countryside, especially when combined 
with the American counterinsurgency strategy of the 
strategic hamlet. The most recent example has been 
seen in Guatemala, but in the past these programs were 
tried in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. 

\_ J 

or an excessive user of electricity, modern Guatemalan 
technology could identify you for a death list. 

Israel has also been helpful in developing Guatemala's 
major military-civilian programs. The Guatemalan mil- 
itary has attempted to create Vietnam-style strategic ham- 
lets. The means of implementing these counterinsurgency 
plans were couched in terms of establishing peasant coop- 
eratives similar to the kibbutzim in Israel. Guatemalan and 
Israeli agricultural and military officials were exchanged 
and it soon became apparent that the goals of the program 
were to crush peasant support and participation in the 
armed struggle. 

The U.S., becoming involved through AID, sent "ex- 
perts" and provided credits and grants. These civic pro- 
grams were to take place in the Ixcan area. This is the major 
base of support for the Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP), 

36 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

one of the major rebel forces fighting to overthrow a suc- 
cession of repressive governments. 

Under the recently overthrown Rios Montt regime, the 
Israeli model was put into full operation. In August 1982, a 
"Plan of Assistance to Conflict Areas" (PAAC) program 
was begun. The PAAC program reproduced many of the 
tactics applied by the Israelis on the West Bank, such as 
finding mayors willing to accommodate to the status quo. 

Rios Montt's strategic relations with Israel began before 
his March 23, 1982 coup. Tel Aviv newspapers reported 
that 300 Israeli advisers had helped to execute the takeover. 
Rios Montt confessed to an American reporter that many 
of his soldiers were trained by Israel. 

On August 8, 1983, Rios Montt was overthrown in 
another military coup led by General Oscar Humberto 
Mejia Victores. Mejia, who was Defense Minister under 
Rios Montt, is also a fierce anti-communist. It is doubtful 
that U.S. and Israeli support will dwindle under Mejia's 
rule. Gaining almost immediate recognition from the U.S., 
Mejia's pledges to return to civilian rule, abolish secret 
tribunals and end Rios Montt's "state of alarm" were re- 
ceived enthusiastically by the Reagan administration. 
While the precise U.S. role in this latest coup is unclear, it 
has been reported that some of the Israeli-trained officers 
that brought Rios Montt to power also participated in his 

Costa Rica 

Costa Rica's northern border has become an operational 
base for attacks by contras on Nicaragua. Former Sandi- 
nista turned traitor, Eden Pastora., leads a small army 
estimated at 5,000 from this border area. 

At one point, Pastora claimed that he had to shut down 
his activities because he had run out of funds. He stated 
that because of his "anti-U.S." stance, he would not accept 
funds from the CIA. Within days he was fighting again, 
reportedly with an infusion of funds from Israel, as well as 
other countries. In fact, much of this was a propaganda 
charade, as Pastora has been receiving CIA aid all the time. 

Although Costa Rica has no army, Israeli military train- 
ers and arms are beginning to pour into the country. In 

c \ 

Since the U.S. cannot legally train or arm a country 
with only a police force, "it is understood that Israel is 
to sell arms and give counterinsurgency training to the 
Costa Rican police." Ha 'aretz, November 1, 1982. 

v J 

1982, President Luis Alberto Monge met with Menachem 
Begin in Washington. They discussed the possibility of 
Israeli military aid in building up Costa Rican security 
forces. The funds would come from Washington. 

The U.S. has been pressuring Costa Rica to consolidate 
its security forces. This would include a 5,000-member 
Civil Guard, a 3,000-member Rural Guard, 1,700 prison 
guards, the 100-member National Security Agency, and 
the Chilean-trained, 500-member Organization of Judicial 
Investigation. In 1983, the U.S. will have spent $150,000 to 
train 103 members of Costa Rica's security forces, three 
times the amount spent in 1982. 

Israel has been chosen by AID to build a $10 million 
settlement project along the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. 
The military squeeze that the contras are currently operat- 

ing from Honduras and Costa Rica would obviously be 
enhanced should the U.S. Congress fund this proposal. 

The U.S. Role 

Has exposure of illegal arms transfers by Israel forced 
the U.S. to cut back on aid? Or has the fact that Israel has 
sent arms to countries which the U.S. Congress and others 
have designated as flagrant violators of basic human rights 
made the Reagan administration voice any criticism of 
Israel? The answer to both questions is no. 

Relative to its size and needs, the immense scale of 
continued U.S. military and economic aid to Israel is 
obscene. Even after last summer's internationally con- 
demned invasion of Lebanon, Israel remains the largest 
recipient of U.S. foreign aid. It receives about one-third of 
all U.S. foreign aid, which in the last 10 years has amounted 
to about $25 billion, or roughly $7 million a day. 

Even more shocking, since 1976 Israel has not spent a 
penny of its own for military imports. The average U.S. 
subsidy to Israel for military imports has been 129% of the 
actual cost of those imports. 

In the current fiscal year, Israel will receive $785 million 
in economic assistance and $1.7 billion in military aid. It 
will receive the same amounts in the fiscal year which began 
October I, 1983. 

Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Arens, was in Washing- 
ton in late July to discuss more military aid and the right to 
use U.S. aid to develop weapon systems that are currently 
only available in the U.S. The State Department and White 
House refused to comment on the results of the meeting, 
but an Israeli official said "this trip was one of the most 
successful trips ever made by an Israeli minister to 

The above figures shed light on the important and cen- 
tral role that Israel plays in U.S. foreign policy goals. No 
amount of struggle against U.S. aid to repressive dictator- 
ships and juntas will be complete, or even marginally 
successful, unless Israel is also taken to task. • 


After our last issue exposed the fact that the late Robert G. 
Deindorfer had worked as a spy under journalistic cover, the 
truth was admitted. His name appeared on the "In 
Memoriam" list published in Periscope, the quarterly 
bulletin of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. 

In Latin America Israel has found clients. Here can 
be found some of the most brutal and repressive 
regimes of modern times most in need of Israel's 
"technical" and military assistance. In exchange for 
this assistance and cooperation, Israel has found some 
of its most vocal support in international affairs. Israel 
has even been granted observer status in the Organiza- 
tion of American States. The only other country to 
enjoy this special status is Spain. 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 37 

Pak In The Saddle Again 

By Fred Clarkson* 

The minions of Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon 
are hard at work in Latin America. In some countries, the 
Moonies have become a major force in politics, business, 
and the media. In Uruguay, for example, Moon's organiza- 
tions own a 500-room luxury hotel, two newspapers, a 
radio station, the largest book publishing house, and a 
meat packing plant. (Washington Post, August 28, 1983.) 
There is open speculation in the press about whether Uru- 
guay will become the first "Unificationist republic. " 
(Miami Herald October 21, 1982.) 

These and other such extraordinary developments are 
largely the work of Bo Hi Pak, who is from all available 
evidence, the real brains and power in Moon's multi- 
national operations, including Moon's Latin American 
political arm: CAUSA (Confederation of the Associations 
for the Unification of the Societies of the Americas). 
CAUSA was founded in 1980 and claims, in its conference 
invitations, to be active in 18 countries. 

Pak, best known as a central character in the Koreagate 
influence peddling scandal of the 1970's, has had a key role 
in the development of Moon's Unification 1 Church from the 
early days. As a young army officer he helped stage the 
coup that brought former Korean dictator Park Chung 
Hee to power and with guidance and support from the CIA 
was among the founders of the Korean Central Intelligence 
Agency (KC1A), where he attained the rank of colonel. 
Before "retiring" to become a full-time Moonie he was the 
military attache at the Korean Embassy in Washington. 
During this period he was reportedly the liasion with the 
American intelligence community, and made regular visits 
to the National Security Agency. (See Gifts of Deceit, by 
Robert Boettcher.) Through his many roles in Moon or- 
ganizations, Pak plays Chief Executive Officer to Moon's 
Chairman of the Board. 

CAUSA began in the Southern Cone nations of Argen- 
tina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, with seminars entitled: 
"Unificationism: A Solution to Communism," purporting 
to present a cogent unifying platform against Marxism for 
the right-wing elites who attend by special invitation. The 
seminars pleased the local dictators well, despite the heavy 
infusion of Moon theology. Pak told the Chilean seminar 
in 1981 that although "Chile is still seen as a villain in the 
liberal press, I think the day will come when the world will 
recognize this nation as a fountain of hope." Likewise, 
Chilean General Claudio Lopez said: "We know that . . . 
Rev. Moon and yourself are pillars in the struggle against 
international communism." 

Pak is also directing a campaign at the U.S. Hispanic 
community through the Times-Tribune Corp., publisher of 
the Washington Times, New York Tribune, and since 1980, 
Noticias del Mundo, a Spanish language daily distributed 

♦Fred Clarkson is a free-lance investigative journalist based in Wash- 
ington, DC. 

in New York, Washington, and other American cities. It is 
often cited as an authoritative source by South American 
papers. Significantly, Pak's Executive Vice President is 
Sang In Kim, of whom the 1978 U.S. congressional report 
on Koreagate stated that he was an early Moonie who 
participated in the Park coup; was Park's translator during 
his first state visit to the U.S., and was a former KCIA 
station chief in Mexico City who "made frequent trips to 
Washington; and there is reason to believe [he] was Tong- 
sun Park's 'control officer' in the KCIA." Park was the 
linch-pin of the Koreagate conspiracies. (See Investigation 
of Korea — American Relations, Report of the Subcom- 
mittee on International Organizations of the House Com- 
mittee on International Relations, October 31, 1978, 
p. 363.) 

Such longtime involvements are not unusual among the 
true believers, and the black-and-white world view of the 
Moon organizations is characteristic as well. According to 
Moon theology, these are the last days, in which Moon, the 
Messiah, will lead the forces of God over the forces of 
Satanic communism to create the kingdom of God on 

During the past year, Honduras has become a major 
battleground in CAUSA's anti-communist crusade. Pak 
has a close relationship with the military and business elite, 
notably General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, the military 
chief and de facto dfctator. Alvarez is said to want to use 
CAUSA to build support for a national security state, 
instead of the year-old civilian democracy. Alvarez's 
heaven on earth has been temporarily thwarted by the 
Catholic Bishops of Honduras. Following a warning about 
"cults" by the Pope and a Vatican briefing about the his- 
tory and goals of the Moonies, the Bishops issued a pastor- 
al letter denouncing CAUSA and the Moonies as "anti- 
Christian" and warned of "serious dangers to the psycho- 
logical, religious and civic integrity of anyone who yields to 
its influence." The public controversy that followed forced 
prominent Hondurans to back off a bit; Honduras is over 
90% Catholic. Nevertheless, CAUSA remains a powerful 
force in the country. 

About the time Pak first arrived in Honduras (November 
1982 according to the April 17, 1983 Boston Globe), a 
Presidential "Office of International Information" was set 
up to deal with the problems created by the war being 
waged against Nicaragua from Honduran soil. The office is 
headed by Presidential Press Secretary Amilcar Santama- 
ria, a leading public defender of CAUSA who attended the 
Moon sponsored "World Media Conference" (WMC) in 
Seoul, South Korea, October 1982. Also attending were 
Oswaldo Soto Rector of the National University; Herman 
Padgett, the Honduran Consul General in New York; and 
several right-wing Honduran journalists. The WMC brings 
several hundred such people from around the world semi- 
annually (all expenses paid) to rally for anti-communist 

38 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

perspectives in journalism. Closer ties between Honduras 
and South Korea are suggested by reciprocal military visits 
and all-expense-paid trips to South Korea for Honduran 
businessmen, courtesy of Bo Hi Pak. 

Meanwhile, another WMC was held in Guatemala in 
June. This event featured former South Vietnamese Pre- 
mier Nguyen Cao Ky, who believes the media played a 
major role in the defeat of South Vietnam. After the WMC, 
CAUSA flew delegates to El Salvador, Costa Rica, and 
Honduras on a Boeing 707 for day trips. When in Hon- 
duras, they attended a reception at the Office of Interna- 
tional Information hosted by Bo Hi Pak. In each country, 
delegates met with business and military leaders. (See El 
Grqfico (Guatemala), June 14, 1983; El Heralclo (Hondu- 
ras). June 10, 1983; and Washington Post, August 28, 

The convergence of such a variety of interests through 
Pak, suggests much more influence than the Moonies usu- 
ally get credit for. 

FLASH: According to a reliable journalistic source just 
returned from Central America, one of the Nicaraguan 
contra leaders, Fernando "El Negro" Chamorro of the 
UDN-FARN, was approached more than two years ago by 
Moonies to attend meetings (all expenses paid) in San 
Francisco, New York, and perhaps elsewhere, aimed at 
unifying the various anti-Sandinista groups. Chamorro 
said he went to the meetings, but declined to follow Moon's 
lead, for fear of Moon domination. Asked if he had taken 
any Moon money, he said he hadn't but might if there were 
no strings attached. • 

(C ontinued from page 44.) 

hidden, notebooks that could be chewed as gum if 
discovered, and secret writing materials. Eventually they 
gave her a bottle of poisoned wine for D'Escoto. Moncada 
exposed the plan, and a film of her receiving the poisoned 
bottle of wine was given to the press when the expulsions 
were announced. 

Although the U.S. denied the plot, even the Christian 
Science Monitor editorial said "it cannot be ruled out that 
the embassy personnel were up to something," while The 
Nation said "it may be more common-sensical than 
pathological to fear the worst from Washi/igton." 

This plot was neither the first nor the last in Nicaragua. In 
February of 1982 a bomb exploded on an airplane in 
Managua, killing four baggage handlers. The flight had 
originated in New Orleans, and the bomb was generally 
presumed to have been planted by CIA-trained Cuban 
rightists. And last August two captured Nicaraguan contras 
confessed to having planned to kill D'Escoto, Ernesto 
Cardenal, and Vice Chancellor Nora Astorga. One of the 
men, Jorge Ignacio Ramirez Zelaya, said a CIA agent 
named Mike Tock was behind the plot. 

When assassination becomes a way of life, it can get out of 
hand. That may have been what happened in the case of the 
murder of El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero, 
attributed by Robert White to Roberto D'Aubuisson. It is 
also the most reasonable explanation for the assassination of 
Benigno Aquino in the Philippines last August. While it is 
certainly true that the U.S. did not order Aquino killed, 
indeed by the time of his death he was probably the leader 
favored by the U.S., nevertheless it was the CIA in the fifties 
under Edward Lansdale that made murder a way of life 
there. By 1954, as we saw in Part 2 of this series, CIA station 
chief Ralph B. Lovett was plotting the assassination of 
Philippine nationalist leader Claro M. Recto. It should 
come as no surprise to the CIA's killers that the Marcos 
dictatorship has learned its lessons well, even when they are 
applied in a way that the U.S. finds embarrassing. 

The other major assassination of recent months was that 
ot Grenada's Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop. Is it not 
possible that the CIA had a hand in this also'.' 

On the surface it doesn't seem likely. Credible reports say 
that Bishop was killed as a consequence of factional strife 
within the New Jewel Movement, in which Bishop was 
opposed by people more hardline than he. 

Nevertheless, we would do well to recall the CIA's plot to 
poison Chou En-lai during a v isit to Burma in 1958, which 
was to be accompanied by a "black" propaganda campaign 
that would have blamed the Soviet KGB for his death. (See 
Part 1.) Bearing that in mind, it could be meaningful that 
Gen. Hudson Austin, one of the leaders of the coup that 
ousted Bishop and then killed him, was described in a secret 
CIA report two years ago as pro-American. • 

Grenada: Nobody's Backyard 

Historical perspective of U.S. destabilization against 
Grenada during first year of revolution— events which 
later led to coup and invasion. 

A 16 mm, 60-minute color documentary film. 
Includes interviews with late Prime Minister Maurice 
Bishop, former Guyanese P.M. Cheddi Jagan, Chilean 
patriot Isabel Letelier, Workers Party of Jamaica leader 
Trevor Munroe, and former CIA officer Philip Agee. 

Produced by CovertAction Information Bulletin; 
directed by Ellen Ray. For rental information, telephone 
(202) 265-3904 or (212) 254-1061, or write to P.O. Box 
50272, Washington, DC 20004. 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 39 

The Korean Spy Plane: 

Flight 007 Aptly Named 

By Ken Lawrence 

Korean Air Lines flight number 007 was not the first spy 
plane downed by the Soviet Union, but its cover has held up 
better than previous ones, with a strong assist from many of 
the major U.S. media, giving the Reagan administration a 
significant victory in its march toward ever-widening war. 

According to Duncan Campbell writing in the London 
New Statesman, "since 1950 the United States has lost at 
least 27 aircraft forced or shot down and seen 60 others 
attacked in the course of electronic or photographic 
reconnaissance activity. At least 139 U.S. servicemen have 
died in this reconnaissance programme. " He adds, "More 
than 900 attempts have been made, by the Soviet Air Force 
and others, to shoot down the super-secret SR-71 
'Blackbird/ None has succeeded, for it flies too high and 
too fast." 

Very few of these aircraft have received much attention 
in the news media, even the ones that have been shot down, 
but they are known in the aviation and espionage trades 
and, despite the fact that they are entirely illegal, they are 
considered matter-of-fact. The April 1979 issue of Air 
Classics magazine ran a photograph of four U-2 airplanes 
shot down by the People's Republic of China in the 1960s. 

On occasion, when coupled with important political 
events, they erupt into public view, as happened in the case 
of the best known U-2 flight of all, the one piloted by 
Francis Gary Powers over the U.S.S.R. in May of 1960 
which torpedoed the scheduled Eisenhower-Khrushchev 
summit meeting. But details of another spy flight shot 
down over the Caucasus two years before Powers' weren't 
made public until this year. 

Spy flights that violate the airspace of another country 
are not labeled as such. When Powers began his U-2 career 
with the CIA, his identity card showed him to be an 
employee of Lockheed on loan to the National Advisory 
Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). In other words, he 
and his colleagues were under civilian deep cover. 

The CIA unit to which Powers belonged was officially 
called the second Weather Observational Squadron 
(Provisional). The first NACA news release about the U-2, 
issued in April 1956, said the plane would be used to study 
turbulence and meteorological conditions in Nevada. The 
second announced the program was being extended to 
Europe. Powers and his fellow spies were instructed to tell 
parents and friends that their flying missions were tied in 
with the then forthcoming International Geophysical Year 
in various parts of the globe. 

After Powers was shot down, the U.S. government 
announced that a NACA weather plane had strayed off 
course over Turkey into Soviet skies when the pilot 
developed oxygen trouble. After Khrushchev disclosed that 
the pilot had been captured, the State Department 
abandoned the cover story, but said that Washington had 
not authorized the spy flight. Two days later, Eisenhower 

admitted to the press that he had authorized the flight, and 
said the overflights would continue. 

A similar sequence of lies followed by corrections has 
emanated from Washington concerning KAL 007 but, 
despite that, since no one from the crew of that flight sur- 
vived to testify as to the true mission, the proof that it was on 
an espionage mission is largely circumstantial. Nevertheless, 
it is persuasive to experts, but what has obscured the truth is 
the continued insistence by U.S. officials that a civilian 
airliner would never be used for such a purpose. 

This is demonstrably false. The earliest spy aircraft of the 
Cold War era were mostly converted military planes — B-29 
Superfortresses, SA-1 6 Albatrosses, later RB-47s— followed 
by the U-2 and then the SR-71 designs which were 
specifically engineered for spying over "denied" territory. 
But civilian cargo and transport planes have been widely 
used too, reaching their peak when the CIA operated a vast 
network of proprietary airlines on a "commercial" basis, 
including Air America, Air Asia, Civil Air Transport, 
Intermountain Aviation, and others. Aircraft currently in 
use by proprietary airlines in Central America include 
Beechcraft King Airs, Cessna 404s, and DC-3s. Modern 
reconnaissance craft, including the well known AWACS 
and RC-135, are modified airliners. 

The mission determines what type of aircraft is most 
appropriate, and at times it includes regularly scheduled 
commercial airliners, despite a statement by the United 
States Information Agency, repeated twice in its report 
"The Shootdown of KAL 007," that "The United States 
does not involve commercial airliners in intelligence 
activities." (Let us leave aside the likelihood that this may 
have been carefully worded legalese to avoid saying 
whether South Korea uses commercial airliners in 
intelligence activities, on its own, or on behalf of the U.S., 
or both. Virtually every important sentence in the report 
would fail that sort of scrutiny.) 

Even Leslie Gelb in the New York Times reported that 
the U.S. used commercial airliners for cover "in the 1950s 
when the CIA outfitted commercial flights with equipment 
to spy on activities in East Germany as the planes flew to 
and from Berlin." A number of French press accounts have 
quoted former agents of SDECE, the French secret service, 
saying that French passenger planes have made "hundreds" 
of spy flights at the behest of the CIA while en route to 
Moscow. Rudolf Braunberg, a former pilot for the West 
German airline Lufthansa, has written in Deutsches 
Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt, a West German weekly paper, 
that "since 1947 32 civil planes have been shot down for 
violating foreign airspace," one of them by NATO. These, 
however, have not caused the outcry that KAL 007 has. 

Many experts smelled something fishy from the earliest 
reports about the downing of the airliner. Ironically it was 
Gen. George Keegan, the retired head of Air Force 

40 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

intelligence and of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a well 
known war hawk and anticommunist extremist, who was 
quoted as having said immediately afterward, "I have never 
failed to be surprised at how careless the Koreans are, 
despite the risks of flying near Soviet air space. Despite all 
the Soviets have there, the Koreans continue to fly too 
close. The Koreans continue to bruise the Soviets on this. 
What happened today they invited." 

As pertinent facts dribbled out bit by bit — that an RC- 
135 reconnaissance plane was flying nearby KAL 007 in the 
early part of its flight; that a second RC-135 was 
somewhere about; that two Orion maritime reconnaissance 
aircraft were in the area of its later travel; that the Korean 
flight's movements over the most militarily sensitive areas 
of the Soviet Union coincided with the orbital overflights 
of the U.S. Ferret-D satellite; and that the U.S. frigate 
Badger was stationed at what would have been where KAL 
007 emerged from Soviet airspace had it not been 
downed— the official U.S. story began to unravel. 

First the U.S. charged that the Soviet Union had 
deliberately shot down a plane known to be an unarmed 
civilian jetliner. Later the State Department admitted the 
consensus of U.S. intelligence was that the U.S.S.R. 
believed it was monitoring and bringing down an RC-135. 
Initially the U.S. claimed that no warning was given to the 
airliner, and a tape of radio transmissions was played that 
purported to prove it, but later an "amended" version on 
the tape was released that supported the Soviet claim that 
warning shots had been fired. According fco Alexander 
Cockburn in the Village Voice, the State Department 
mistranslated part of the tape in which the Soviet pilot 
reported the target "does not respond to inquiries" as "does 
not respond to IFF" [Identify Friend or Foe, a frequency 
the Boeing 747 would not have received]. Much was made 
of the difference in the sizes and profilesof thetwo types of 
planes, but everyone now seems to agree that the Soviet 
interceptor's approach was behind and beneath the Boeing 
747, from sufficient distance that comparative size would 
have been difficult to discern regardless of whose weather 
report is more reliable, and where its "distinctive hump" 
would not have been visible. Moreover, the RC-135, though 
smaller, has a hump similar to that of a 747. Le Monde 
confirmed that KAL 007 was flying without lights until some 
time after the interceptor was "locked on" target, after which 
time came the reports of flashing lights quoted by the U.S. 

Then began the quibbling. There was no need for KAL 
007 to spy, because satellite photos would be as good as 
those from a lower altitude. But even if night photography 
had been the plane's mission, photo-interpreters would 
dispute this, especially concerning oblique views and stereo 
pairs. (Interestingly, when Khrushchev argued that U-2 
flights were needless provocations because of the quality of 
satellite surveillance, CIA director Allen Dulles said they 
were needed. In the current dispute, Cockburn pointed out 
in the Voice that, since satellite orbits are known and can be 
anticipated, spy flights are utilized to see things concealed 
from the satellite's scheduled flyby.) 

In the New York Times Gelb argued that this was 
nighttime, and infrared cameras "are ineffective above a few 
thousand feet." Why then, Cockburn asked, do satellites 
carry infrared cameras? Gelb wrote, "The only imaging 
system that works at higher altitudes at night is something 
called synthetic aperture radar," which "is fairly large and is 
said to take up a lot of space." How, then, do they fit it inside 

the nose of F- 1 5s, which regularly carry it, Cockburn wanted 
to know. 

Huge doubts were raised when two former RC-135 
intelligence specialists who had piloted the craft went public in 
the Denver Post with information from their experience. T. 
Edward Eskelson and Tom Bernard wrote that the official 
explanation of the RC-135's mission off the Soviet coast did 
not agree with their knowledge. 

"The RC-135 can stay aloft for 18 to 20 hours, 
demanding only a single mid-air refueling. The aircraft 
are assigned 'orbit' areas near target nations by the 
National Security Agency, which has operational 
authority over all the personnel aboard. 

"It has been our experience that, on occasion, NSA 
adjusts the flight paths of RC-135s so that they will 
intentionally penetrate the airspace of a target nation, 
bringing a target country's air defense systems into a 
state of alert. This allows NSA to analyze these 
activated systems for potential flaws and weaknesses. 

"The RC-1 35 acts for the NSA as a prime receptor of 
signals from a surveillance target. The aircraft is 
deemed so important to U.S. intelligence collection 
efforts in sensitive areas that it always is relieved on its 
orbit by another RC-135 just before the conclusion of 
its mission. We find the implication made by President 
Reagan that the Sakhalin-Kamchatka target area was 
abandoned by the RC-135 to be unbelievable and 
contrary to NSA policy. 

"The capabilities of the RC-135, some of them 
offensive, may have been of particular value to the 
KAL 747 as it moved toward, and eventually through, 
Soviet airspace. 

"The RC-135 has a superadvanced, ultrasecure 
communications system linked to the most sophisti- 
cated communications network in the world. This 
system permits the instant reporting of tactical 
intelligence to the highest levels of government, 
including the president, from any location in the 
world. A message for the president is required to be in 
his hands no more than 10 minutes after the actual time 
of transmission." 

They next pointed out that the RC-135 had the capability 
to communicate directly with the 747, and could have 
notified its crew that the plane was off course and was being 
tracked by the Soviets. 

"Another feature of the RC-135 is the equipment 
manned by Strategic Air Command officers which can 
'jam' radar and radio transmissions in addition to 
certain electronic systems in other aircraft. 

"The RC-135 also contains an internal warning sys- 
tem that monitors all radar and tactical air activity of 
the target nation for the earliest indication of any 
hostile activity that could be directed against the RC-135." 

In a later interview with a Denver weekly newspaper, 
Westword, Bernard said, "That leads us back to one thing. 
We had coverage, we had analysis, we had the ability to inter- 
cede — and we didn't." He could suggest only two possible 
reasons why: either the U.S. had complicity, or feared com- 
promising an intelligence source more than it was concerned 
about the lives of those aboard KAL 007. He concluded, 
"Personally, I think the Korean airhner overflew Soviet 
airspace for the purpose of gathering intelligence." 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 41 

Former CIA case officer Ralph McGehee reached a 
similar conclusion: "The KAL plane was sent loaded with 
espionage equipment into Soviet airspace in accordance 
with a secret agreement between the governments of the 
United States and South Korea, but with the incorrect 
assumption that it would not be shot down since it was a 
commercial flight." 

Stories on National Public Radio and in the Boston Globe 
documented that Korean Air Lines has had "a long and 
intimate relationship" with the Korean Central Intelligence 
Agency, and that KCIA, in turn, has a similarly cozy tie to 
U.S. intelligence agencies. Even former CIA director 
Stansfield Turner told a student audience that he couldn't 
swear on a Bible that KAL007 wasn't engaged in spying. 

Leslie Gelb in the New York Times, while generally 
supporting the official U.S. position, listed what the 
government was withholding: "Worldwide American radio 
and radar abilities; any communications between the RC- 
135 and the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 and between 
Flight 007 and the somewhat earlier Korean Air Lines 
flight from Anchorage to Seoul, and communications 
between Soviet ground controllers and fighter planes." 

The Sunday Times of London summed up its investiga- 
tion by saying that "there is growing conviction in military, 
political, and aviation circles that Captain Byong-in was 
not in Soviet airspace by accident." 

Far Eastern Economic Review was more forceful. "How 
did 007 get to its rendezvous with disaster? An error in the" 
INS (Inertial Navigational System) which would have taken 
it exactly where it was going — a million to one chance — has 
to be added to another million to one chance: that the two 
pilots on the flight deck never once noticed Kamchatka's 
coastline appearing on their weather radar — which has a 
range of about 200 miles — or even looked out of the cockpit 
window to see that they were flying over land where there 
should have been sea. And this in an area where maps are 
studded with warnings to pilots to stay on course." 

The actual notice reads, "WARNING Aircraft infringing 
upon Non-Free Flying Territory may be fired on without 

The Review concurred with the logical consensus. 
"These coincidences strain credulity and force an examina- 
tion of a simpler explanation: that the aircraft was for some 
reason deliberately flown on the course that it took." 

What might its spy mission have been? 

In a Newsday article, David Kahn wrote, "Although the 
official U.S. statement declared that the RC-135 was 
checking on Soviet compliance with disarmament treaties, 
more often these reconnaissance planes, nicknamed 
'ferrets,' seek information on Soviet radars. Specifics about 
radar locations and their power, pulse rate and frequency 
can enable U.S. bombers to blind the Soviet radars by 
jamming them, or to trick — spoof — them into showing, 
not the true radar echoes of the bombers, but false ones 
that show incorrect distances and speeds. This can provide 
the bombers with an electronic shield in case they must 
attack the Soviet Union." 

Especially in the age of Stealth technology with its nearly 
invisible radar signature, such tests are probably common 
in the face of likely attempts to improve radar defenses. 

A New York Times report by David Schribman says that 
Soviet ground controllers encountered difficulty in directing 
the Soviet planes on courses that would intercept KAL 007, 
a serious problem for aircraft with limited range. If this 

report is true, the only reasonable explanation is that the 
RC-135 was jamming Soviet radar as the 747 violated 
Soviet airspace, expecting to win a red badge if successful, 
and perhaps assuming that, in the event the test failed, the 
Soviet pilots would refrain from shooting down a 
commercial flight. That might also explain, if "friendly" 
(U.S. and Japanese) radar was also being jammed, why 
nobody warned the Korean crew that their plane was off 
course, and why the U.S. won't release information that 
could conclusively show what was happening during the 
fateful flight. 

If that's the truth, or close to it, the Korean-U.S. spy 
team failed to take an important consideration into 
account. David Kahn summed it up: 

"Soviet leaders perhaps remember something that exerts 
as powerful an influence on them as the surprise attack on 
Pearl Harbor does to Americans. It may explain their fear 
and rage about air intrusions. From October 1940 to June 
1941, German airplanes— toward the end averaging more 
than three a day— penetrated Russian airspace and 
photographed thousands of square miles of the Soviet 
Union. June 22, Hitler invaded." • 


My 25 Years in the CIA 

By Ralph W. McGehee 

Ralph McGehee spent 25 years in the 
CIA, much of it as a case officer in southeast 
Asia. He saw the folly of the Vietnam War 
and argued, to no avail, with the likes of 
William Colby. This is his timely story of 
how the CIA distorts reality to conform to 
the political line coming from Washington. 

Also available from the publisher: White 
Paper? Whitewash! by Philip Agee and 
Warner Poelchau on the CIA and El 

Sheridan Square Publications, Inc. 

P.O. Box 677 

New York, NY 10013 

Please send me: 

( ) copies of Deadly Deceits, hardcover, at $14.95 
plus $1.75 postage and handling. 

( ) copies of Deadly Deceits, paperback, at $7.95 
plus $1.50 postage and handling. 

( ) copies of White Paper? Whitewash! hard- 
cover, at $12.95 plus $1.75 postage and 

( ) copies of White Paper? Whitewash! paper- 
back, at $6.50 plus $1.50 postage and 

v / 

42 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

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Number 20 (Winter 1984) 

CovertAction 43 

Sources and Methods: 

CIA Assassinations — Part IV 

By Ken Lawrence 

When the topic is assassination, U.S. officials exhibit a 
curious ambivalence. On the one hand, we'd never, never 
even consider such a thing. On the other hand, a casual, 
yawning, "So, what else is new?" 

No one is surprised when right-wing Cuban exiles, armed 
and trained by the CIA, kill or attempt to kill Cuban or 
Soviet diplomats stationed in New York. 

Last August 8, after reporting on a "hair-raising new 
development"— that Arab terrorists have invented an 
"invisible bomb"- Jack Anderson coolly disclosed that 
"none of the western intelligence agencies privy to the secret 
raised objections when one agency set out to find the bomb 
maker and eliminate him and his lethal products k with 
extreme prejudice/" If Anderson's account is accurate^the 
CIA officials he says are involved in this are explicitly 
violating stated policy. 

On October 26. Frank Greve of Knight-Ridder News 
Service quoted Brooks McClure, a retired veteran Foreign 
Service officer and terrorism specialist, as having said that 
when the group that bombed the Marines in Beirut is found 
out, they will be quietly "disposed of. It's more effective 
against your real enemies if you take them out and never talk 
about it." 

"Don't talk about it" is also the solution proposed by 
William F. Buckley, Jr.. himself a former CIA officer, to 

♦Part I appeared in C'AIB Number 8 ( March-April 1 980): Part 2 appeared 
in Number I I (December 1 9S0); Pari 3 in Number 17 (Summer 19X2). 


P.O. Box 50272 
Washington, DC 20004 

what he considers the occasional need for assassination 
despite an official ban on it. Last June he wrote, "But isn't 
assassination wrong? 

"Yes assassination is wrong. But can't one say that 
assassination is wrong, but that there are worse things than 
assassinations? Like death for a quarter million people, and 
perhaps a war? 

"Yes, one can say that." In that case, do it but don't talk 
about it. 

Once begun, this sort of thing becomes a way of life. That 
has happened in Central America. The former U.S. 
ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White, appeared on the 
Today show last April 14 to describe what he had learned on 
a recent trip to Central America. Among other things. White 
mentioned that he had talked with a mercenary trained by 
the CIA and paid to assassinate leaders of Nicaragua. 

White's revelation came almost two months before the 
Nicaraguan government expelled three U.S. diplomats lor 
plotting the murder of Nicaragua's foreign minister. Miguel 
D'Escoto Brockman. The three^ Ermila Loretta Rodriguez. 
David Greig, and Linda Pfeifel were identified as principal 
figures in a CIA network who had attempted to recruit 
Marlene Moncada to kill D'Escoto, who is also a priest. 

They gave her a shortwave radio to receive coded 
messages, two wooden idols in which cypher keys were 

(Continued on page 39-) 

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44 CovertAction 

Number 20 (Winter 1984)